6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Business & Professional Life today CLICK HERE

Is it OK to check a prospective employee’s social media profile?

PUBLISHED: 15:59 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:59 28 August 2018

Matthew Clayton of Willans (c) Clint Randall / www.pixelprphotography.co.uk

Matthew Clayton of Willans (c) Clint Randall / www.pixelprphotography.co.uk

Clint Randall - pixel pr photography

When does social media become anti-social? Matthew Clayton, partner of Willans LLP, explains

Staying on the right side of the law around recruitment: Is it OK to check a candidate’s social media profile?

Recruitment takes time and effort, and so understandably employers want to find the right person as quickly as possible. But, as Matthew Clayton explains, it’s vitally important for employers to be cautious when conducting pre-employment checks - even down to that ‘informal snoop’ on social media...

It is understandable that businesses want to check whether or not candidates pose a threat to their organisation, or to try to identify exaggerated claims of experience, skills or qualifications. But in doing so, employers must be alert to their legal duties relating to data protection and discrimination, particularly now in the post-GDPR age.

Research of a candidate’s social media profile should be done carefully. Personal data obtained during a recruitment process is subject to the GDPR, so it is important that employers consider how they process and store this data – and for how long. Employers should also be transparent with candidates that they are doing this.

Furthermore, remember that information posted on social media accounts may not be credible or truthful, and therefore (for public sector employers) relying on it may be in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to a private and family life). A social media page might contain personal information, the knowledge of which may lead to subsequent action being considered discriminatory, and this is important given that discrimination legislation protects job candidates as well as employees.

It is possible, too, that an unsuccessful and disgruntled candidate may make a subject access request in an attempt to establish whether discrimination was at play. Remember that under GDPR, you’ll need to respond to these within a month, and provide a more detailed level of information than before. You therefore need to ensure that all emails/notes on file clearly identify objective reasons for declining an application and focus on skills, experience and performance at interview.

Pre-employment checks are just a small part of the recruitment process, and the complex nature of UK employment law means that a simple mistake can turn into a costly headache for an employer, no matter how small their organisation. If you are a HR professional, a director or executive responsible for risk management, and you feel you’d benefit from peace of mind that your recruitment practices are legally compliant, please do join us for our next half-day employment law workshop in October. We’ll be available to answer your burning questions, and sharing advice on what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to recruitment.

Willans’ employment law team helps organisations day-in-day out - from not-for-profits to SMEs and multi-national companies - with awkward employee situations. For responsive, clear legal advice and support, contact Matthew at matthew.clayton@willans.co.uk or call 01242 514000.

Get confident in the law on recruitment:

Upcoming workshop -

Date & time: Wednesday October 3, 9am-1:30pm

Venue: Stonehouse Court Hotel, Stroud, GL10 3RA

Ticket cost: £35 including VAT, lunch, refreshments and networking opportunities

Booking: For more information on how to reserve your place, please visit willans.co.uk/events/ or call 01242 542931.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Cotswold Life

14:10

It’s the season of terrible puns, magic lamps, and generous genies: Aladdin, the all-new panto at the Everyman, has been written by none other than legendary Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, and stars everyone’s favourite clown, Tweedy. The Barnard family from Nailsworth - mum, dad, Harriet (12) and Lewis (6) - made a Wishee (Washee) for tickets; grabbed their car (Window Twan) keys; and dashed off to see A Ladd In Cheltenham

Read more
13:45

Crispy, frosty days and perhaps even a dusting of snow, winter is a magical time in the Cotswolds. If you’re thinking of tying the knot during this beautiful season in the region, here are six winter wedding ideas to help you start planning your special day

Read more

Christmas in the Wilson household is a heartwarming, traditional family affair

Read more
13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
13:09

Veganism is the latest food trend to hit the Cotswolds but it’s something we can all enjoy a bite of

Read more

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more

The weekend is fast approaching and for those still deciding how to spend their Friday through to Sunday, we pick 5 of the best ways to spend your weekend in the Cotswolds

Read more
12:01

This year sees the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Briggs’ original picture book The Snowman. With three performances of the animated film – with live orchestra – coming to Gloucester Cathedral next month, we thought we’d catch up with Rachel Whibley, managing director of Carrot Productions (and occasional snowman), to find out more...

Read more

Alleviate the stress of hectic Christmas preparation and endless shopping trips with a festive afternoon tea in one of these gorgeous Cotswold settings

Read more
Friday, December 7, 2018

Find a fabulous gift for everyone with Whatley Manor’s monetary vouchers.

Read more
Thursday, December 6, 2018

One lucky reader could win a pair of tickets to see Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella, at Calcot Manor as well as two signed copies of ‘The Plant-Based Cookbook’

Read more
Thursday, December 6, 2018

People travel from far and wide to visit the Cotswolds at Christmas. We’ve compiled 24 reasons why you should join them.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search