Social media is one of those few phenomena that do not require much introduction. Everyone by now seems to have their own social media profile or a persona, which at times can be totally different from a real character of the person in question. Nevertheless, the way we write, argue, communicate, share content on social media more or less define us as individuals.
It can be argued that social media increases our vulnerability to advertisements, fake news, identity theft, deprives us of personal communication, or can become a time waster if used recklessly; however, when well-handled, it can turn into an indispensable tool for networking, recruiting, and connecting with like-minded people within communities.
We’ve already conferred the benefits and risks of using social media when hiring, so we assume that you’re completely aware of the legal implications that can ensue from perusing social media profiles or obtaining private information. In this article, however, we’ll share a few tips on how to brush over a candidate’s social media to assess their suitability for a position without getting in legal trouble or discriminating against any particular group.
But before we delve into the practical advice on how to scan social media profiles and what to look for, let’s look closer at the current state of the recruitment market. According to Recruiter Nation Study 2018, LinkedIn, unsurprisingly, is the most-used channel for recruitment efforts -- 77% of respondents use LinkedIn as opposed to 63% of recruiters using Facebook and 25% for Instagram.
That same report also reveals what recruiters are looking for when they sleuth social media. Below is the breakdown of the survey.
Now, whether you’re a republican or a democrat, politics should not really get in the way of fair hiring practices; nevertheless, as the survey results suggest, employers and hiring managers still continue to judge people by what they think about Trump. We strongly discourage you to follow these tactics unless you’re analyzing ways a candidate replies to criticism or handles a discussion.
These are the TOP 3 things we think you should definitely be looking for in a candidate’s social media profile.
Confirming qualifications and experience should be a top priority when perusing social profiles of potential candidates. Match the information on the candidate’s resume with those mentioned on LinkedIn and jot down the discrepancies (if any) to make sure you ask questions about them during the interview. Things to look for: information about education, previous job experience, skills and endorsements, recommendations, the number and quality of connections.
Social media can also be used for obtaining “backdoor references;” in case you happen to have a mutual connection, you can reach out to people inside your network and ask them for more information on the candidate to achieve a more accurate perspective on the potential hire.
Tip # 2 Examine examples of works
The next important step is to check the candidate’s examples of work: articles, any other written pieces, design works, personal website or a portfolio page, everything else that will give you an idea of how creative or productive the candidate can be.
Tip # 3 Determine a cultural fit
While we think that such a term as “cultural fit” determined by social media should be taken with a little dose of skepticism, nevertheless, you can get a glimpse into a person’s social persona by looking at things they like, repost, and share with others. Try to switch off your subjective self and attempt to look critically at what the person writes about on social media. Stay away from judging the candidate by a single tweet or blog post, conversely -- look for red flags, like overt racism, denunciation of ideas or groups, intolerance, mockery, sarcasm, promotion of violence against anyone or anything.
Besides these three main things, try to stay away from the preliminary and potentially damaging judgment of the candidate's social media. If you don’t share your own personal moments or opinion online, it doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t either. Everyone is different. Individuals have their own peculiar voices, and it so happens that for some -- social media is one of the ways they truly express themselves. Judge by the action, the work accomplished, rather than an online persona.
Author: Marina Vorontsova is a copywriter from Soshace.com, a hiring platform for web developers.
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