Ethical and Legal Social Media Vetting - The way to carry it out

Ethical and Legal Social Media Vetting - The way to carry it out

Ethical and Legal Social Media Vetting - The way to carry it out

Today social media there is an increase in the awareness and understanding that businesses have of the consequences when it comes to their public social media profiles do not only just impact their personal brand. It can also have an effect on the organisation that they work in. Businesses can have some concerns over the person that they hire because of their social media where the information about the person and their opinions are easy to get a hold of. Social media vetting is something that managers are using as part of their recruiting procedure. Leveraging social media is done to not come across any risks of politically- conscious generation.

There is a line of the boundary of ethics between persons professional and personal like. In 2019 it was found by YouGov within research that up to 70% of managers are likely to check their applicant’s social media pages, this was part of their recruiting procedure. It is essential for managers to have awareness of the ethical foundations of social media vetting in order to carry out a fair and legal screening procedure.

The following are some of the main factors that occur during the recruitment process for managers to take into account when using vetting in the recruitment.

The main intention of screening:

  • Personal bias must be avoided during the recruitment process this is the manager’s and employer’s responsibility to do so. This is because the hiring procedure must ensure that the pieces of information are relevant to the job offer and the decisions made.
  • It is also the employer’s responsibility to ensure that they are complying with discrimination and data privacy laws.
  • A social media vetting organisations must make sure that the following is not committed racism or intolerance, violent or illegal behaviour, sexually explicit.
  • They should also ensure that applicants do not get rejected due to the following: political beliefs, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

Hold everyone to the same standard

  • Regardless of the applicant’s age employer’s must carry out a screening of them in their best interest.
  • They should also screen millennials and Gen Z applicants who are more experienced users of social media.
  • The screening procedure should also take place regardless of the job role. It must not be based on the prospect or the priority of the job role or the industry or the job title.


  • In order to complete the hiring process managers are responsible for making the applicants aware of the reasons for going through their social media page.
  • They must also have the knowledge of the standard they are going to be examined and judged by the managers.
  • During this process applicants must be given the opportunity to explain themselves with any concerns that they may have come across.

Data Laws

  • It is key for the applicant to give manager’s/ employer’s consent for them to go through the social media pages.
  • No information or data must be kept longer than it is necessary especially when a person wasn’t hired under the GDPR UK law. The recommend time to keep information by the Commissioner’s Office is six months.

Implementing Policies and Training

  • To ensure that manager’s/ employer’s are examining and judging individual applicants equally and in the same level of degree, creating a standardized vetting policy to complete this.
  • Stating out the social media pages that you will be looking into can avoid manager’s/ employer’s in unfairly going through their person information and life and committing harmful bias during the recruitment process.
  • Training can be taken place for managers for vetting polices in order to make them aware for the businesses rules and requirements.
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