Jennifer King is an HR Analyst at Software Advice, a company that reviews and compares recruiting and employee performance review software. She reports on trends, best practices and technology in human resources. The Global Human Resources Outsourcing (GHRO) team enjoys Jennifer’s insights into the recruiting industry, and so today’s post reprises elements of one of her recent blogs: Why Recruiters Use Social Networks to Screen Job Candidates.
In a 2011 Reppler survey about how recruiters use social networks to screen candidates, 91 percent of the respondents claimed they have visited a potential candidate’s profile on a social network as part of the screening process. But why? With all the tweets, status updates and comments, it’s unavoidable for any social job seeker not to be searchable in some way.
With social media, it’s possible to learn more about a job seeker than what is on his or her resume, giving recruiters and hiring managers more insight into the behaviors and personal lives of their candidates.
According to Eric Meyer, partner in the labor and employment group at Dilworth Paxson LLP, “Businesses and recruiters want to know as much as they can about a person who they may give a job offer. But the real purpose behind screening is to make sure the person you’re hiring doesn’t have any red flags that would make them a bad fit or a potential liability for the business.”
When it comes to commenting, posting photos or sharing status updates, we don’t typically update our social media profiles with recruiters in mind. Instead, we post things that are relevant to our lives, interests and personalities, giving recruiters a clearer picture of the person behind the resume.
Tips for Job Seekers
For recruiters and hiring managers who choose to look up candidates online, it’s likely that what they find will also shape their first impression of that person.
“Perception is reality in the business world,” says Amy Henderson, account executive with Technisource, part of Randstad Technologies. “The way people perceive you online, through social media—that’s what they use to make first impressions. And those first impressions are lasting impressions.”
And even with privacy restrictions set up on social networking sites like Facebook, it doesn’t mean an employer won’t take extra steps to get a look at what’s behind those privacy restrictions, even if that means bluntly asking a job candidate for his or her login information.
But by requiring login credentials for candidates’ social media profiles, employers run the risk of losing top talent due to a perceived lack of trust.