AccuScreen's Kevin Connell to speak on Risks involved in Social Media Screening at Annual HR Legal Conference

Tampa, FL May 8, 2014 — Kevin Connell, CEO and Founder of, will discuss in detail today’s best practices when it comes to social media and the hiring process at the Greater Pensacola Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Legal Conference May 14 in Pensacola, FL.
Social and professional networking sites have become enormously popular ways to connect with friends and colleagues, as the following user statistics show:
Facebook(TM), over 1.2 billion users
LinkedIn(TM), 300 million
Twitter(TM), 241 million
Google Plus (+)(TM), 540 million
Instagram(TM), 200 million
Pinterest(TM), 20 million
Source: Pew Research Center
Social networking sites also present a tempting source of information for employers. A 2013 study by CareerBuilder found that 39% of hiring managers use social media websites to research job candidates. Additionally, research conducted recently by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), indicate 30% of respondents used the information found on a social media website to disqualify the job candidate.
“Screening a job candidate by viewing their online profiles presents numerous legal and ethical challenges for businesses,” Connell said. “If a hiring manager is looking at someone’s Facebook(TM) page, depending on privacy settings, the information revealed will most likely include the candidate’s race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, political opinions, just to name a few. All of the things that a job candidate could use in an allegation of discrimination.”
“What has been seen cannot be unseen,” Connell stated. “You can try all you want to compartmentalize the information you just viewed, but when it comes down to it, if you throw a skunk into the jury box, you can’t instruct the jury not to smell it.”
Employers who choose to use social networking sites when screening candidates must use care to avoid attaining and using information in a discriminatory way. They need to ensure they are in compliance and do not break privacy laws, as well as be sure that the information obtained is accurate. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants to make sure employers are adhering to laws when searching the web on potential employees as well. In a meeting March 12, 2014, EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien stated, “This meeting has helped the EEOC understand how social media is being used in the employment context and what impact it may have on the laws we enforce and on our mission to stop and remedy discriminatory practices in the workplace.”
The conference will be held from 8:15 am – 4:45 pm at The Crowne Plaza Hotel, 200 E. Gregory St, Pensacola FL 32501. Registration, continental breakfast and Vendor Fair will begin at 7:45 am.
Please take a moment and view the following video message from Kevin Connell, Chairman: Legal Conference Attendees Video
About Kevin Connell
Kevin Connell is the CEO and Founder of, a global background screening firm headquartered in Tampa, Florida. He served as Director on the first Board of Directors of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Mr. Connell is recognized for his expertise on employee screening, criminal background checks, advanced internet research and open source intelligence. He has provided research and testimony as an expert witness in court cases. He was on the adjunct faculty of the University of South Florida for over a decade. He has spoken at numerous business, security and human resources conferences, including twice providing testimony before the Florida Supreme Court. He is widely quoted, is a published author, and has been featured on television, including Fox News and ABC News. Connell’s business experience spans over a quarter of a century.
Established 20 years ago in 1994, has been an industry pioneer and leader in employment background screening, specializing in criminal background checks. Its reports are delivered to companies across the world accurately and quickly with turnaround times from instantly to 72 hours.
Media Contact:
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