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ePortfolio Employee Recruitment Benefits, Ethics and Legal Issues

ePortfolio Employee Recruitment Benefits, Ethics and Legal Issues

Portfolios have been used for a number of reasons and purposes for many years. The advanced information technology has led to the presentation of portfolios in electronic format commonly referred as e-portfolio. It comprises an outstanding educational innovation based on a significant collection of electronic substances.  Electronic portfolio has its side effects but studies support it as a suitable tool for employees’ recruitment. There is still no concrete evidence on how employers have responded to the use of electronic format, especially where it does not interface with their electronic system. Studies indicate that most employers are not receptive to online presentation despite their many benefits. 

This article analyzes the possible usage of e-portfolio in employees’ recruitment and potential benefits of using it in recruiting employees. It also discusses legal and ethical issues in the process of recruiting employees. It also discusses the impact of online via social media recruitment on both the employer and employees as well the risks posed by online recruitment. It finally looks at the implications of legal and ethical issues in internet recruitment. The use of e-portfolio as a recruitment tool will help job seekers to apply and secure employment via online. It will also help employers to easily find good employees. The tool is adoptable in a controlled and contingent way (Strohmeier, 2010).

A sizable number of e-portfolio services are used for academic and environment but are adaptable to the most workplace conditions hence could be used for recruitment of employees, performance reviews, job searching and interviews. It will permit human resources to easily aggregate and disaggregate data on employees’ developments. This will aid in establishing patterns of career growth and weakness within the human capita of the organization. HR can undoubtedly tell when to employ, to promote and to reduce the labor force. It is commonly termed as e-recruitment, career transitions and learning assessment portfolio or even electronic labor exchange in the context of Hr recruitment, training and development (Barker, 2006).

Recruitment has become complex and has issues emanating from both within and outside the organization. The issues are legal and moral issues that affect the process of recruitment and selection of workers. Legislations in recruitment plays an important role in recruitment and selection process particularly in preventing prejudice based on sex, race and disability. Latest recruitment legislations in Europe are focusing on data protection and discrimination and are guided by various employment acts. Ethical issues in the recruitment process are very important in the modern times as people are more enlightened about their rights. HR policies have however downplayed the issues of ethics and have instead focused on strategic fit and best practice. The tone used during recruitment is a reflection of the organization and its members and has an impact on future relationships (Winstanley and Woodall, 2000).  

Online recruitment has changed the way employers find employees. It has also changed the way job seekers think about getting the right job as recruiters and employers can now easily access a variety of talented workers via online. The ethical issue online is that it has greatly reduced loyalty of employees and has leveled the playing field between employer and employees. The rate of payments is now based on the rate of similar jobs elsewhere. The power of employees is now based on the market relationship unlike before where it was based on internal political relationships in the organization. The loyalty of employees to the employer has significantly eroded because employees are no longer competing among themselves within the organization but rather across the globe.  The issue of privacy is another ethical issue in online recruitment because information posted by job seekers is accessible to anyone for any purpose and could unfairly be used to dismiss the candidate (Mitrou, L & Karyda, 2006).

There is no legislation in the US that prevents employers from using information obtained from an individual's profile on digital and social media to make recruitment decisions. However, there are a number of issues of using such information, one being the issue of privacy. Most people feel that such methods of vetting and screening employees amount to infringing on people’s privacy. The use of information on social media provides employers with a variety of information about candidates. This includes information on their marital status, sexual and racial orientation, and ethnicity, political and religious views among others. This could be used to dismiss the candidates. However, a rejected person could also use it to claim that he or she was discriminated against in the recruitment (Mitrou, L & Karyda, 2006).

Claims of discrimination during recruitment process based on information obtained from their profiles in digital and social network have little chance of success. However, the onus lies squarely on the employer to act responsibly so as to comply with employment and labor acts. The continued recruitment through social and digital media is likely to attract more claims of discrimination and appropriate legislation and policies should be put in place to regulate the use of social networks for recruitment (Broughton et al, 2009).


The use of e-portfolios by employers as appropriate recruitment tools is proposed in most academic literature. However, their usage has to be restricted to a given situational setting matching its characteristics. This means that not all organizations can use e-portfolio for employee recruitment and technical measures should be engaged in its usage. The continued use of digital and social network information to make recruitment decisions needs to be regulated to reduce possible misuse of such information by both employers and rejected candidates.


Barker. K. C. (2006). E-portfolio. Introduction, application and implications beyond the classroom. Vancouver. FuturEd Consulting Education Futurists Inc.

Broughton, A., Higgins, T., Hicks, B and Cox, A. (2009). Workplaces and Social Networking. The Implications for Employment Relations. Research Paper. 11(11).

Mitrou, L & Karyda, (2006) ‘Employees’ privacy vs. employers’ security: Can they be balanced?’ Telematics and Informatics 23, 3.

 Strohmeier, S. (2010). Electronic Portfolios in Recruiting? A Conceptual Analysis of Usage. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research.11(4). 268-280.

Winstanley, D and Woodall, J. (2000). Ethical Issues in Contemporary Human Resource Management. London. Macmillan.

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