Walking a fine line between EEOC and corporate social responsibility: An ethical model for hr professionals when using social networking websites to screen job candidates

by Elley, Trish A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 246 pages; 3646090


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore the how and why HR professionals use social networking websites (SNWs) to screen job applicants. Further, it examined the legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of SNWs for pre-employment purposes. The first part of the study used an online questionnaire to learn how and why HR professionals use SNWs, and how they experience this. In Part II of the study, phone participants shared their insights about using SNWs during the screening process. They discussed their current SNWs screening policy and process, specific information they search for when screening job applicants' SNWs, and what information causes someone to be disqualified from the talent pool. Participants also shared ethical and legal aspects of using SNWs, which ones have been beneficial to the screening process and why, and what internal and external influences determined how they applied SNWs to their pre-employment process. Based on the findings, five major themes arose: 1. HR professionals use SNWs for different reasons and purposes during the pre-employment screening process. 2. There is a need to stay within legal parameters and auditing procedures for proper training and policy development; and 3. HR professionals should review professionally oriented sites, not those used for personal and social exchange. 4. Participants were divided on disclosing their SNWs policies. 5. All phone participants were careful about their personal online posts. These themes suggest the following recommendations for HR professionals and scholars: apply the Elley SNWs Process Model to stay within legal parameters and be transparent about their SNWs policy and use professionally oriented SNWs to view job-related information about the candidate, which will minimize the potential for eliminating a candidate based on non-related job information. Also recommended is creating a SNWs content review checklist for the pre-employment process for consistency and for auditing. Once the SNWs policy and SNWs content review checklists are developed, one must train all professionals involved with the pre-employment process.

AdviserJanet Salmons
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology; Web studies
Publication Number3646090

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