Staffing Resources

How to Use Social Networks to Screen Candidates

June 27th, 2014

Companies use social media on a daily basis to post branded content related to their industries so they can acquire new clients or reach out to current ones. What more and more companies have begun to do is use social media to screen their job candidates. Your company should be doing this too, which is why we will discuss the topic here.

Never ‘Friend’ Job Candidates
One of the most important things you need to take into consideration as a hiring manager is the fact that you should never ‘friend’ any of your job candidates. This is never a good idea because it could give them the wrong impression and it will alert them to the fact that you are checking their profiles. This could lead them to change things around, making them look like someone they are not. Even if the candidate has a private account, do not create a fake account to become friends with them just because you want to do a little research. If they have a private account, they were smart enough to make that decision.

Look for Personality
When you begin screening candidates using their social media profiles, it might be best to look at how their personality comes through their interactions with others and in their posts. Instead of analyzing their words and pictures, try to take notice of how they handle themselves. Those candidates who complain about their current job or employer, or who belittle others on social media sites, will likely be very difficult to get along with at the office.

Create a Policy
Your company absolutely needs to have a social media screening policy in place if you will be taking part in such an effort. The policy should describe how the screening will take place, who will be allowed to perform the screening and what you will be looking for when viewing these pages. Make sure everyone on your staff follows this policy and even have it reviewed by a lawyer to make sure it is legal. If you don’t, you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit if you are eliminating candidates based on their appearance, sex, religion or age.

Use a Third Party for Screening
If you want to avoid any issues with lawsuits when screening using social media, you might want to use a third party to perform this duty. The third party could even be someone else at your company who does not have any say in hiring decisions. A third party will be able to provide you with legal information you can use to make a hiring decision. Some of that information includes their public statuses, their tweets, the content in their profile and much more.

Make sure your company is using social media to screen its job candidates, but do not put yourself in a sticky situation when making hiring decisions.

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