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Written By Thomas Ahearn

ESR CEO Attorney Lester RosenTo help employers learn how to navigate legal pitfalls when using social media to screen job applicants, Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), will present a webinar with Clear Law Institute titled ‘Legal Risks of Using the Internet to Recruit and Screen Applicants’ on Thursday, July 10, 2014 from 3:00 PM to 4:15 PM ET. For more information about the webinar, which has been approved by the HR Certification Institute for 1.25 hours of general recertification credit, visit:

“Employers and recruiters have discovered a treasure trove of information on potential job applicants by using social networking sites such as Facebook,” says Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’ “However, the unrestricted use of social media for screening could well land an employer, human resources professional, or recruiter in hot water.  Just because a piece of information exists is online does not mean it is risk free or true.”

This session will examine the pros and cons of employers utilizing social media, including what is available online, discrimination issues, the use of legal off-duty conduct, privacy, accuracy, and authenticity. Through case studies, legal decisions, and reviewing web sites, attendees will see visually how social media works, what they may find on social media sites, and the potential legal landmines and practical risks involved with using social media for screening.  The session will focus on strategies for getting needed information online while minimizing potential complaints for discrimination or invasion of privacy.  The session will also uncover how the Internet is used fraudulently for fake degrees and phony references.

  • Learn why employers, human resources, and recruiters use search engines and social media sites to screen candidates.
  • Review what social media sites are available and what you may find.
  • What are the risks in using social media sites?
  • Isn’t everything on social media 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.

Rosen is founder of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), a nationwide background screening company located in California and accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). He was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the NAPBS, a professional trade organization for the background screening industry. He is a former deputy District Attorney and criminal defense attorney and has qualified and testified as an expert witness on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence. For more information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), visit, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email [email protected].

ESR White Paper on Social Media Background Checks

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – has released a white paper titled ‘Ten Potential Dangers When Using Social Media Background Checks.’ The complimentary white paper is available for download at