Using Social Media to Vet Candidates


When you are looking to fill a position, finding the perfect person can be difficult. There are many tools to help you screen candidates, including using prescreening questions and automated hiring tools. One tool that more and more companies are using to screen candidates is social media. Many recruiters head to LinkedIn, but there is also value in looking at Facebook, Twitter and other sites as well. When using social media to vet candidates, there are some important things they tell you.

Inaccurate Information on a Resume
As MightyRecruiter explains in its eBook, One way to use social media to vet candidates is to look for any inconsistencies. You can review their social media, especially LinkedIn, to ensure that the information there matches what is on their resume. If it does not, that reflects poorly on the candidate. It might mean that they did not put in the effort to update their social media profile with their latest information, or it might mean that they are trying to hide something from you.

Communication Abilities
In today’s society, social media profiles are a way for a person to present themselves publicly to the world, including their communication skills. Although screening every post for grammatical errors might be a bit much, looking at their profile provides some insight into how much they are able to and care about having a well-written presentation. If there are any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in the profile, this might also mean that they do not always pay close attention to detail.

Reviewing a Portfolio
On LinkedIn, there is a place where candidates can include a portfolio of their work. This provides you an opportunity to review their previous work to see whether or not it fits with what your company wants. It also provides a way to corroborate what candidates state in their cover letter and resumes.

Network and Connections
Many recruiters also look to find any mutual connections with applicants when viewing social media profiles. If you find a connection, you can always ask that person for further information about the person in common. This is especially useful if the connection is a current employee. He or she might be able to assess whether the candidate would fit well in the corporate culture.

Possible Negative Behavior
Many companies use social media to vet candidates for any poor judgment or negative behavior. This might include inappropriate photos, negative comments about work, discriminatory comments and other actions that reflect negatively against the applicant. Although an occasional negative post might not completely disqualify a candidate, if you notice a trend, you might decide that the person is not a good fit for your company.

Dos and Don’ts of Using Social Media
Although social media is a valuable resource for recruiters to use when assessing job candidates, there are some important considerations you should make so that you use it effectively. First and foremost, do not use social media just as a quick way to judge someone. If you are going to use it, then spend the time to actually get a feel for a person by looking deeper and seeing what you learn about his or her personality and history. Consider these other important social media vetting do’s and don’ts:

• Don’t immediately pass judgment on small inconsistencies, unless they really start to build up
• Don’t automatically dismiss candidates just because they do not have a profile
• Do use the information you gathered to start conversations during the interview
• Do expect candidates to also use your social media profile to screen your company

You probably will not use social media to screen through all the applicants you receive. However, it is a good tool to use once you have pared down the candidates to just the people you feel are qualified. Before you choose who to bring in for an interview, looking at social media profiles provides additional information that might help you make a decision on whether to take the next steps with a particular candidate.

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