social media

Cyber snooping – Are employers breaching confidentiality laws by pre-screening candidate’s social media profiles?

Cyber snooping – Are employers breaching confidentiality laws by pre-screening candidate’s social media profiles?

In today’s digital age, when you are about to meet someone new it’s not uncommon that you have a quick scroll through their Facebook page or twitter feed out of curiosity. This is a practice that has found its place within the recruitment process too, with upwards of 70% of employees vetting potential candidates by snooping on their social media profiles.


Upcoming future EU laws could see this process of cyber snooping as illegal and a breach of a potential candidates’ privacy. These changes would come as part of the General Data Protection Regulation which is due to come into play in early 2018, from this date, employers would be required to contact candidates ahead of time to inform them of any review of their social profiles, providing them the option to comment. It is also a requirement that any social snooping is relevant to the role advertised and the requirements and responsibilities of the role, employers will have to be very careful not to discriminate and pass judgment on candidates based on personal or physical attributes that are discovered during social checks.


According to a survey by almost 50% of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate, with provocative photographs, foul language, and discriminatory comments being some of the reasons they have passed on candidates. The same survey showed that 30% of employers who took to social networks to scope out potential candidates found reason to hire, with strong communication skills and glowing, positive personalities shining through.


We’d love to know your opinion on this matter. Have you used social media to screen candidates in the past? What were your experiences? did you find the process to be fruitful or is it a case of only being able to judge a book by its cover? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @HPC_HRservices


If you are looking to recruit and would like some support or guidance on ensuring you’re attracting the right candidates, get in touch with the HPC team today on 0844 800 5932 or via email


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest news and updates

Sign up now