Social media screening of job applicants in France


This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

According to a study last published in 2010, 14% of French recruiters admitted they had rejected job applicants after they found information about them on the web.  In France, recruitment agencies (including those which are web based) as well as temp agencies are subject to the same stringent discrimination laws as employers. This is not always the case in other jurisdictions.

According to French law, information requested from an applicant must have a direct and necessary link with the proposed job or the evaluation of the applicant's professional skills. It is illegal to request information about the applicant's private life, such as health, sexual orientation or profession of the applicant's parents. Recruiters should not ask questions about the clubs, unions or organizations to which the applicant belongs since these questions may give indications of the opinion of the applicant on religion, trade unions and politics.  There are currently no specific laws on social media screening in France but such screenings would fall under the same legal requirements of a direct and necessary link with the job and so a cautious approach should be taken to relying on information derived from social media screenings.