To help employers and recruiters better understand the legal risks of using the Internet for recruiting and screening job applicants, Attorney Lester Rosen, the founder and CEO of nationwide accredited background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present an audio conference titled ‘Web 2.0 Caution! The Legal Line You Walk When Using Social Media and Search Engines to Recruit and Screen Applicants’ on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Time (10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Noon Pacific Time). For more information, visit:

“No discussion on employment screening background checks these days is complete without an analysis of how the Internet is used for uncovering information about job candidates,” explains Rosen, the author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ a guide to employment screening. “However, while employers and recruiters have discovered a treasure trove of information on job applicants by using social networking sites and search engines, the unrestricted use of Web 2.0 can land them in hot water since just because certain information is online does not mean that it is risk free or even true.”

During the one hour and 30 minute session – presented with the Workplace Training Center – Rosen will examine the pros and cons of utilizing online data, including discrimination issues, use of legal off-duty conduct, privacy, accuracy, and authenticity. Through case studies, legal decisions, and web site reviews, Rosen will show employers and recruiters how these sites work, what they may find, and the potential legal landmines and practical risks involved. He will also focus on strategies for minimizing complaints about discrimination or invasion of privacy. Learning objectives include:

  • What employers and recruiters look for when using search engines and social network sites to screen and recruit candidates.
  • How to uncover best practices for employers, recruiters, and job applicants.
  • How to spot and deal with phony degrees and references from online services.
  • Is everything online “fair game” since privacy is waived once someone places something on the Internet?

Rosen is a frequent presenter nationwide on employment screening issues as part of the ‘ESR Speaks’ program at: In 1997, he founded Employment Screening Resources, a San Francisco Bay area firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Rosen was also 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.

ESR recently released a complimentary white paper co-written by Rosen – ‘Managing the Risks of Using the Internet for Employment Screening Background Checks’ – that shows the risks employers and recruiters face using Internet search engines and social network sites for recruiting and screening. These risks include: Too Much Information (TMI), Discrimination Allegations, Too Little Information (TLI), “Computer Twins,” “Cyber-slamming,” Privacy Issues, and Issues with Accuracy and Authenticity. The white paper is available at no cost on the ESR website at:

Despite the overwheling popularity of the Internet, a 2011 survey from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) cited in the white paper found that – contrary to popular belief – only roughly one-quarter (26 percent) of organizations used online search engines to screen job candidates while even fewer organizations (18 percent) used social networking sites during the hiring process. The survey found 64 percent of organizations had never or no longer use search engines and 71 percent had never or no longer use social networking sites to screen job candidates.

The ESR white paper also offers steps for employers to take when considering using search engines or social network sites for screening that include: developing a written policy and procedures for social media searches; writing job descriptions contain the essential knowledge, skills, and ability required for the position, waiting for a conditional job offer and consent from the job applicant to perform a social media search, and using a person in-house not connected to hiring decisions to review data on social media sites.

Rosen says the bottom line when using the Internet for screening or recruiting is to proceed with caution and follow the steps offered in the white paper. For information about the audio conference with Lester Rosen, visit the Workplace Training Center at: The complimentary white paper from ESR is available at:  To learn more about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at: or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA area,
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by less than two percent of all screening firms. This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit