Snooping on social media


You’ve hired someone who you believed would be a great fit for your organization, but they’ve turned out to be a disaster!  A little social media screening may have helped you avoid this.  Research states that in 2015, 52% of employers researched potential employee’s social media profiles before calling them in for an interview, and that number is likely to continue rising!

Active social media users share quite a bit of information about themselves.  A recent article by Daniel McVicker states five reasons why you should consider checking out your candidates on social media:

To find any red flags.

Hiring managers have found evidence of drug use, stealing, and the disclosure of confidential information about customers as well as routinely bad mouthing previous employees and colleagues.

To assess their written communication skills

Their posts will show how they communicate the points they are trying to make whilst at the same time the use of proper grammar and punctuation; how they conduct themselves in a discussion as well as seeing if they are able to engage in written exchanges that are thoughtful, interesting and courteous.

To learn about their ambitions

A candidate who follows multiple companies with a similar cultures might be an indication of the work environment they are seeking.

To determine cultural fit

The overall tone of a person’s social medial posts are often a great insight of their real-life personality. A person who continually cracks jokes and attempts to turn conversations into funny banter might be a great fit for a customer service role where they often need to de-escalate tense situations, however if they maintain a serious, task oriented, work environment, they may not be a great fit.

To learn about a candidate’s creativity and curiosity

Are the posts that they write and share funny, thoughtful and informative?  If so, you are likely looking at a great prospect. If you are in a niche where a talent for art or design is key, see if the candidate is on Pinterest of Tumblr, as both platforms are frequently used for showcasing creative work.

Just like candidates should do their homework on your company, it would benefit you to get to know your candidates before conducting the interview or making the offer. By taking a few moments to conduct social media screening, you can quickly learn a lot about them. Sometimes what you learn will be disappointing, but there may also be times in which a candidate becomes even more attractive because of what you learn from their social media accounts.

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