Screening Prospective Employees Using Social Media

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

A major factor in your business’s success is the quality of your hiring decisions. You need to be able to trust your employees and their ability to handle responsibilities. A bad hire could hurt your business and staff morale. It also wastes money, time, and energy, as the hiring and training process have to be repeated when the employee is let go.Typically, employers make decisions based on a candidate’s resume, interview, and references. In recent years, employers have begun to use social media to screen candidates. This can give you more information to make a better decision.

Different Ways to Use Social Media

You can search for candidates’ pages on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you can learn more about them. Certain industries may have a social network that is relevant to it; for example, Github is popular among coders. You can obviously use social media to eliminate any clearly unsuitable candidates by looking for signs of illicit behaviour. Any signs of unprofessional behaviour, drug use, inappropriate language, and discriminatory comments are signals that a prospect should not be hired. These precautions can reduce the risk of hiring a bad employee. You can also use social media to identify exceptional candidates. Go through each candidate’s posting history to see what posts, comments, links, and thoughts they have shared to understand their interests and personality. Look for links to professional work that can help you learn about their skills. You can also try to determine which candidates are passionate and committed about their work based on their posts. Another source of knowledge is to search a candidate’s name to find out what other people are saying about them. Hiring is challenging because of the gap between how candidates present themselves in interviews and how they will perform if they are actually hired. Employers are using social media to bridge this gap to reduce risks. While a resume and interview can be rehearsed, social media history over a long period of time is a raw and unrefined reflection of a person.

Potential Issues

You can use social media to eliminate extremely unqualified candidates and learn more about your prospective candidates. There is nothing wrong or illegal about using social media during your hiring process, especially when it comes to profiles that are open to anyone and accessible through a search engine.However, social media can lead to a misleading picture of a candidate. Some people are very savvy about their social media presences, while others may only use social media to stay in touch with friends from high school. A social media profile doesn’t give a full picture of a person; it’s only a tool in your hiring toolbox.As a matter of courtesy, you should let your candidates know that you’ll be checking their social media profiles when you let them know about any reference and background checks. You should only be checking social media for candidates that you are seriously considering hiring based on their resumes.You should start using social media to screen prospective job candidates so you can eliminate any candidates who pose risks or are incompatible with your business’s values. By reviewing candidates’ social media profiles, you can learn more about their interests, interactions, personalities, and talents to complement what you will learn from their resumes, interviews, and references.

References & Resources

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