Using Social Media to Screen Candidates

According to a national online survey conducted by Harris Poll, with regard to the use of social media to review candidates, a sizable number of employers confessed using social media as part of their screening process.

Professional recruitment experts argue that screening job applicants through social media is not an objective screening tactic. They caution that wrong decisions can be made during hiring and even leave an employer responsible if the information accessed is protected under the Civil Rights Act.

Inappropriate personal information like gender, sex, race, or religion should never be used as part of the basic criteria for choosing to employ an applicant.

The Harris Poll survey revealed that most workers have some sort of online presence. That’s no surprise.

This, however, IS A SURPRISE!   The poll also revealed that more than half of the employers surveyed would not hire a candidate who does not have a social presence.

Thirty-six percent of employers admit to gathering social media information before calling in a candidate for an interview and twenty-five percent of those require that the candidates have an online presence. Researchers reveal that fifty-one percent of employers globally use social media sites to research current employees. Of those, thirty-four percent of employers have found content online which has forced them to either reprimand or fire an employee.

This information exposes the importance of cultivating a positive online persona, one that puts your personal life in alignment with your professional life.  There is a growing reliance by employers and recruiters on evaluating profiles.

Social media is also an ideal place to reach passive candidates that may not be currently seeking opportunities. The employer gets a chance to review a potential candidate’s profile without approaching them.

Social Media Tips

Work on your company’s profile. – Employers should understand that social media screening works both ways. Make sure your company’s social presence is what you want it to be.

Only investigate a candidate’s professional life. – It might be tempting to look deeply into a prospective candidate’s personal life, but you should limit your inquiry to professional data.

Stay consistent.– As you check numerous applicants’ profiles, make sure you apply the same screening standards to each of them.

Avoid making assumptions. – Don’t use someone’s social media profile as your only source of information about them.

Don’t use LinkedIn only.– Check several social media platforms to get a more complete picture of your potential candidate.

At FrontGate Search, we are trained in the use of social media to appropriately screen job candidates.  Contact us to learn more about our services.

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