3 Ways to use Social Media to Screen Candidates

A recent survey, by a major job search website, showed that two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. And why not? More than 500 million people have Facebook pages, another 260 million network via LinkedIn, and 220 million are tweeters. So chances are, if you want the scoop on someone, you can find it via one of these venues.

LinkedIn: An Online Resource Designed for Networking

The reason Linked In exists is to enable users to make business connections. It’s a natural place to start when utilizing social media to pre-screen candidates.

  • Take a look at an individual’s Profile before contacting them for an interview. This prevents them from making any changes based on your contact with them. Check out their profile as you’re reviewing their resume and make notes on any items that stand out to you. This information may prove valuable if and when you meet them in person.
  • Evaluate a candidate’s career progress. Note the types of jobs they’ve had and how they’ve grown via educational and training opportunities. Have they jumped from position to position? Are there employment gaps? Again, take notes.
  • Pay attention to endorsements and recommendations. See how they align to the job you need to fill and to your company’s core values and objectives.
  • Review their groups and connections. This is a good way to learn about a candidate’s interests and experience, as well as how they build a network.

Facebook: The “Go To” Social Media Site

Using Facebook to pre-screen candidates can be a bit more complicated, since much of what you see is dependent upon an individual’s specific security settings.

  • The “About” page in a person’s Profile can be an extension of their resume, by showing their passion for certain skills and interests. A Profile also may showcase personality traits, which may factor into your hiring decision.
  • Professional demeanor on Facebook says a lot. If an individual behaves sensibly and maturely on Facebook, this is likely indicative of their overall character.

Weigh the pros and cons of using Facebook as a screening tool. Be aware of:

  • Potential legal pitfalls: When reviewing public photos or information, you may find yourself making a discriminatory decision without meaning to.
  • Profile inaccuracies: It’s possible that what looks like a person’s legitimate Profile may not be. Hackers can tap into an individual’s page and enter information or photos that render the Profile inaccurate.

Twitter: Good for Gauging Communication Skills

There are no real restrictions on reviewing information on the Twitter microblogging platform, so go ahead and have at it. It’s a great medium to see how your candidate communicates on line. If a person can drive a message home in 140 characters or less, that’s an added plus.

In addition, Twitter is another venue to learn more about a person’s interests, hobbies and general lifestyle.

A candidate’s personal life as portrayed via their social media persona may not reflect their business acumen or style. But sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be helpful tools as you round out your hiring decision.

The expert team at CPS and Professionals Inc. can help you land the most qualified talent using social media as part of a comprehensive recruitment plan.

If you are looking for staffing agencies in Syracuse NY, contact us today.

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