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Topic: Recruitment

letter advising social media will be disregarded
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Letter advising social media will be disregarded

Letter advising social media will be disregarded

It’s becoming increasingly popular for job applicants to put website links to their social media profiles on their CVs or on job application forms. In order to avoid discrimination allegations, use our letter advising social media will be disregarded to make clear you’ll not be doing anything with the information at the early stages of the recruitment process.

High profile

There seems to be a couple of reasons why job applicants are now more willing to voluntarily offer up links to their social media profiles to prospective employers. Firstly, to stand out from the crowd and persuade employers to recruit them - after all, we can all easily use our own personal web pages for self-promotion, and secondly, in case the employer searches for their name on the Internet anyway and comes up with a different person - in other words, so that you won’t form a negative view of them based on a case of mistaken identity. 

Disregard the information

Where a candidate has provided relevant website links, you're best disregarding this information during the initial recruitment process. This is because it's an unfair recruitment practice, i.e. it singles out just those that have provided the information so you're not treating everyone equally and, more importantly, it could be potentially discriminatory. For example, you might find information about a candidate (such as their sexual orientation, race or religion) which could lead to an inference of unlawful discrimination if they're subsequently unsuccessful in getting the job, or it could give an unfair advantage to certain groups of individuals, e.g. younger workers are more likely to have online profiles than older ones. In addition, checking social media websites is essentially a form of recruitment vetting of personal data and so could be a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which provides that you must have a lawful basis for processing each type of personal data and that you shouldn't hold and process unnecessary and irrelevant personal data about individuals. So where you do receive this type of information as part of a candidate's CV or job application form, use our Letter advising Social Media will be Disregarded to let them know that you'll not be looking at this information at this stage of recruitment.

Job offer stage

However, you might want to check these links once you're about to make a job offer to your preferred candidate, as part of your verification process for that person for the purpose of assessing their suitability for employment, but you should only do this if either their social media profile is for business (as opposed to private) purposes or checking it is necessary for and relevant to the job. Our letter reserves the right for you to check social media profiles prior to making an offer of employment - make sure that checking such publicly available background information is covered in your privacy notice for job applicants. Never take negative information posted online at face value and obtain verification before relying on it. Give the candidate an opportunity to make representations if you do find anything adverse.


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