Tuesday, March 2, 2010

LinkedIn for Employers

According to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey*:
  • 38% of those surveyed indicated they had embellished their job responsibilities
  • 18% admitted to lying about their skill set
  • 12% indicated they had been dishonest about start / end dates of employment
  • 10% confessed to lying about an academic degree
  • 7% said they had lied about the companies they had worked
  • 5% disclosed they had been untruthful about their job title
With these statistics, don’t you think you should be one of the 80% of employers** using, or planning to use, LinkedIn as a hiring tool this year? 

Saratoga Institute estimates that employers invest 8-10% of an annual salary to hire a non-exempt employee and 18-20% to hire an exempt employee. In this economy, it is increasingly crucial for employers to hire the right fit the first time as to avoid these costs repeatedly. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for evaluating job candidates.

Although employment/labor laws are still catching up with social media technology, there is currently no law prohibiting employers from searching social networking sites while conducting background checks of current employees or job applicants. The legal concerns surrounding social media background checks is that an employer may uncover protected information like religion, political affiliation, disability, etc. If an employer were to reject a candidate solely because of these findings, it opens up the organization to serious liability.

LinkedIn is an exception because it is a form of social media that focuses on business rather than personal. Job candidates invite potential employers to view their profiles. If an organization wants to go beyond LinkedIn a social media background check, the best form of protection is to obtain a consent form from the candidate and only do the check once there is a conditional job offer made.

My LinkedIn for Employers presentation is available to view on SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/LaurieBoettcher. A great way to stay informed about human resources surrounding LinkedIn is to join the group LinkedHR. Highly professional members offer a wealth of information as well as free webinars.

We'll talk more about this topic in future posts.


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*Survey results complements of 'Decoding Background Checks' professional development series webinar presented by LinkedHR.
**According to a November 2009 Jobvite survey.

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