Is it Illegal for Employers to Screen Candidates Using Social Media?

I just read a piece on the Scottish news site,, that discusses a study on the legality of employers looking up job candidates on social media sites during the hiring process.

According to the article, two-thirds of the employers surveyed in the study did social-screen candidates while personality consultants point out that such a practice is a form of discrimination. Their argument is that a decision based on a social profile is based on subjectivity and not job-related criteria.

The article specifically mentions Facebook and Twitter. I’d be interested in seeing how the consultant interviewed feels about LinkedIn.

I have no doubt that the practice of looking up a job prospect on Facebook or Twitter isn’t confined to Scotland. We all know this activity is going on every day all across the U.S.

What do you think? Smart intel? or illegal activity?


Oh, and I wouldn’t be the immature child that I am, if I didn’t point out that the personality consultant interviewed was from a firm called “OPP.” 😀