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Written By Thomas Ahearn

RecruitingPrivacy is a significant issue when using the Internet for recruiting job applicants as more employers rely on social media as a key source from which to acquire talent, according to the article ‘Is Using the Internet to Recruit a Violation of an Applicant’s Privacy? Part I’ on the Recruiting Trends web site by Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR). The complete article is available at

In the Recruiting Trends article, Rosen – author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ a comprehensive guide to background checks – brings up several key points regarding the issue of privacy that fly in the face of conventional wisdom that dictates that anything posted online by job applicants is “fair game” when recruiting:

  • “Even though consumers communicate and share information and photos in a forum that can be accessed in part by the public, there is an argument that what goes on in social networking sites like Facebook is only intended for the user’s own personal community and like what goes on in Las Vegas, should stay there.”
  • “The argument would be that it is the generally accepted community norm and attitude that social media sites are off limits to unwelcome visitors even if the door is left open. After all, burglars can hardly defend themselves on the basis that the front door to the house they stole from was left unlocked so they felt they could just walk in.”
  • “Furthermore, failure to adjust privacy setting does not mean that an applicant has consented to be the victim of discrimination if a recruiter or employer finds items that cannot legally be considered in the hiring process. As a general rule, a consumer cannot consent to discrimination, and an employer accused of using social media information in a discriminatory fashion could not argue there was implied applicant consent.”

The second part of this article will appear on the Recruiting Trends Bulletin on June 24. To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit Rosen will present a major session on ‘Legal Pitfalls & Minefields in the New Age of Recruiting’ at the Recruiting Trends Conference taking place October 28-30, 2014 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, please visit

Rosen founded Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) in 1997 and the company is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners® (NAPBS). He was chairperson of the steering committee that founded the NAPBS, a professional trade organization for the screening industry. As a recognized expert in background screening, Rosen has been quoted by USA Today, Businessweek, Reuters, HR Magazine, and numerous newspapers, web sites, and trade journals across the United States. For more information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), visit, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email [email protected].

ESR News Blogs about Recruiting

For more ESR News blogs about recruiting, please visit



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