Social Media Platforms Cannot Substitute for Employer Website

From USADNEWS Volume XII, Issue 9

Recently USADWEB has seen some requests to advertise on social media platforms, but other clients have reported to us that the Department of Labor (DOL) is denying labor certification applications where social media sites have been used as an additional recruitment method.

As social media becomes an increasingly popular tool for employers’ recruitment and advertising needs, many companies are switching from individually owned websites in favor of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. However, for the purposes of PERM recruitment, these social media sites cannot be used to satisfy one of the additional recruitment methods as either an employer’s website or a job search website, since these sites do not technically qualify as either option. For example, Monster is a dedicated job search website. Social networking sites may offer job search features, but are not primarily designed for this purpose. Likewise, an employer may use sites like Facebook or LinkedIn to promote its business, but Facebook and LinkedIn are their own entities and are not operated by the employer as its own proprietary website.

This matter was previously taken up by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) in the Matter of The Dallas Morning News, L.P. (December 2013).  The Dallas Morning News, L.P. submitted a printout from to document an advertisement on the employer’s website as one of its additional recruitment steps. The employer argued that because it had a contract through, the “Careers” link on the employer’s website redirected to the HotJobs site. BALCA dismissed this argument, determining that a link to an outside job search site does not qualify as a posting on the employer’s website itself. This is underscored by the regulation at 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(e)(1)(ii)(C), which clearly states that a job search site must be separate from an employer’s website.

Furthermore, campus career centers have become more strict in recent years in requiring employers to provide a valid company website and email address in order to verify and approve accounts. As many universities, colleges, and trade schools move to the Handshake platform, the registration process for campus accounts is becoming more standardized. Schools will reject account requests that are registered with generic emails, such as Gmail or AOL, as opposed to a company-specific domain. They also will not accept Facebook or other social media pages in lieu of an independent company website. Schools require these forms of verification as a safety measure to ensure that jobs offered to students are legitimate and not scams or a form of trafficking.

Employers should avoid using social media platforms to substitute for either a job search or employer website. Employers who wish to use campus placements as an additional recruitment step will need to provide a valid company website and email address to guarantee that the campus account will be approved.