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International Background Checks Due Diligence and Using Social Networking Sites to Screen Applicants

2011 Annual PIHRA Conference. & Exposition - Anaheim, CA

August 31, 2011


Event:  2011 Annual Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) Conference. & Exposition

Dates/Place: August 29-31, 2011, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

Presenter: Lester S. Rosen, Attorney at Law & President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), Novato, CA 

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1st Session Title, Date Time: 1002 - Web 2.0 Caution! Using Social Networking Sites and Search Engines to Screen Applicants - Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 9:45 AM - 11:00 AM.

Workplace Application:

Learn how to navigate through legal and practical pitfalls and roadblocks when using Web 2.0, such as search engines or social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook to screen applicants.

Employers and recruiters have discovered a treasure trove of information on potential job applicants by using social networking sites, such as MySpace or Facebook, and search engines. However, the unrestricted use of Web 2.0 could well land an employer, human resources professional or recruiter in hot water.  Just because it is online does not mean it is risk free or true.  This session will examine the pros and cons of employers utilizing such tools, including what is available online, discrimination issues, the use of legal off-duty conduct, privacy, accuracy and authenticity. The use of these sites also has an impact on recruiters as well.  Through case studies, legal decisions and reviewing web sites, Recruiters and HR professionals will see visually how these sites work, what you may find, and the potential legal landmines and practical risks involved.  The session will focus on strategies for getting what you need while minimizing potential complaints for discrimination or invasion of privacy.  The session will also  uncover how Web  2.0 is used fraudulently, such as fake degrees and phony references. 

  • Learn why employers, human resources, and recruiters use search engines and social network sites to screen candidates.
  • Review what sites are available and what you may find
  • What are the risks in using these sites?
  • Isn’t everything on the web fair game since privacy is waived once someone places something on the Internet?
  • How do discrimination laws and rules concerning off-duty conduct apply?
  • Uncover best practices for employers, HR, recruiters and job applicants.

2nd Session Title, Date Time: 1055 - International Background Checks: Global Due Diligence and Legal Compliance - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM.


Employers have long recognized that conducting due diligence on new hires is a mission critical task. Firms cannot afford to be sidetracked by employee problems such as workplace violence, theft, false resumes, embezzlement, harassment or trumped-up injury claims. Employers can be the subject of lawsuits for negligent hiring if they hire someone that they should have known, through the exercise of due diligence, was dangerous, unfit or unqualified.

However, with the mobility of workers across international borders it is no longer adequate to conduct these checks just in the United States. A significant percentage of the population consists of immigrants. In addition, an increasing number of workers have spent part of their professional career abroad. With business going global, U.S. firms are having to staff up offices internationally as well.  The number of countries from which employers seek additional information about applicants is expansive, and includes India, China, Philippines, France, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Canada, among others.

This seminar will introduce employers to international background check, including the legal, practical and cultural challenges employers face when obtaining information outside of the U.S. Among the topics covered are the ins and outs of international criminal records, terrorist databases, and whether background checks are needed on applicants with a visa.  Also covered will be international employment and education verification, and how to protect against fake international degrees.  Special emphasis will be placed on data protection and privacy including the rules of the European Union and Canada.  Employers will learn that although international screening can be challenging, there are ways to help hire the best regardless of the country involved.

  • Learn why international background checks are becoming an important tool for employers
  • Understand the tools that are available and the limitations to international background check
  • Learn the legal and privacy aspects of checking international credentials.

Speaker Bio:

Lester S. Rosen is an attorney at law and President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a nationwide background check company located in California and accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He is the author of “The Safe Hiring Manual - The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Imposters and Terrorists Out of Your Workplace,” the first comprehensive book on employment screening. He has also written “The Safe Hiring Audit,” published in 2008. He has qualified and testified in the California, Florida and Arkansas Superior Courts as an expert witness on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence. He is also a consultant and frequent presenter nationwide on employment screening issues at numerous national and statewide conferences as part of the “ESR Speaks” background check training program. Mr. Rosen was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the NAPBS, a professional trade organization for the screening industry and served as the first co-chairman in 2004.



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