Background Check Expert Lester Rosen Discusses Using Social Media to Screen Job Applicants

Written By Thomas Ahearn

LesRosenPhoto_Aug2012_SmallWhiteBorderAttorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), will present an audio conference titled ‘Using Social Media for Recruiting and Screening Applicants’ on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM Eastern Time. To register for this program – which is approved for 1.5 recertification PHR/SPHR credit hours through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) – visit

“Just because information is online does not mean it is true or can be used legally, and this is especially true when that information is used as part of a hiring decision,” says Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ and a frequent speaker on background check issues. “Although employers and recruiters can quickly and easily discover a treasure trove of information on potential job applicants by using social media sites and search engines, the unrestricted use of that information for hiring is not without risks.”

In the 90 minute presentation, Rosen explains how Too Much Information (TMI) can land employers in legal hot water over allegations of discrimination. He will also touch on issues of privacy, authenticity, identity, and legal off-duty conduct when searching online sites as well. Legislatively, Rosen will talk about states with laws prohibiting employers from requiring an applicant’s social media password or from making the applicant go online while the employer examines their social media sites.

Rosen says that even though there are potential risks, using social media sites and search engines to recruit and screen applicants is worthwhile and can definitely improve your hiring pool as long as it is done right and legally. The session will examine pros and cons of utilizing online data to recruit and screen applicants, with a focus on strategies for employers getting the information they need while minimizing the potential for discrimination or invasion of privacy. Attendees will learn the following:

  • The pros and cons of utilizing online data to recruit and screen applicants.
  • What is available online: what employers can, can’t, and shouldn’t use.
  • Commonly used sites: what employers may find and what are the risks in using these sites.
  • Issues with privacy, accuracy, discrimination, and authenticity and how to avoid these problems.
  • How discrimination laws and rules concerning off-duty conduct apply?
  • How to deal with phony degrees and references.
  • Best practices for employers, HR, and recruiters.

“For example, consider an employer who views the Facebook page of an applicant and sees information about that applicant’s ethnicity, country of origin, age, sex, medical issues, religious affiliations, marital status, and attitudes regarding drugs, sex, and work,” explains Rosen. “Just knowing such information – whether they act on it or not – could get that employer sued.” For future ‘ESR Speaks’ speaking dates featuring Rosen, visit

Rosen is Founder of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), a nationwide background check company located in the San Francisco, California-area that is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a professional trade organization for the screening industry. For more information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – visit, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen in the San Francisco, CA-area in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. ESR provides Effortless Legal Compliance, Proven Expertise, Less Work/Lower Cost, Results You Can Trust, and Painless Migration. To learn more about ESR, visit, call toll free 888.999.4474, or email

About ESR News: 

The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including “Ban the Box,” credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at