Paris Brown, 17, ended her tenure as Kent YPC after only 6 days. Her job was a £15,000-a-year, taxpayer-funded, role with a remit of representing young people’s views on policing.
This was following the emergence of a series of inappropriate tweets she had written on a personal Twitter account, prior to taking up the position.
This social media account, had been used by Paris since she was 14 years old, and contained bad language and comments which were considered potentially homophobic and racist.
HR Aspects Magazine spoke with David Lomas our CEO at M3 Media Publishing. David works within the HR sector and focuses on helping businesses to use social media to both protect themselves from misuse as well as to generate more business.
David commented: “The story of Paris Brown recently hit the headlines highlighting the risks of making inappropriate comments on social media sites. Whilst it is a warning to any individual to keep their social activity and personal opinions to themselves, it also reminds employers of the importance of carrying out checks on candidate backgrounds via social media when they are recruiting”.
He added “The manner in which these checks are carried out is vitally important. In order for employers to ensure that they themselves do not end up on the receiving end of any discrimination claim”.
Employers need to adopt a standard practice for ‘candidate assessment’ during their recruitment process so as to be ‘objective’ in assessing the candidate’s ability and not to show any particular discrimination to an individual.
If you as an employer, are concerned about comments made by either candidates or existing employees. then it is sensible to talk with a professional about putting a social media policy in place. This can set out rules and guidelines for your employees and ensure that the social stuff does not hit the fan.