Social media is the new way people do business, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Marketing, sales, and even recruiting are now commonly done through social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Employers now have more tools than ever to find candidates and learn about new hires.
Before searching for candidates on social media, however, you should carefully evaluate the risks and rewards. Knowing what to look for and what to avoid on social media can be tricky. There are legal and ethical boundaries that all hiring managers should stay well aware of while searching for or screening candidates.
The biggest danger with social media is an ethical one. When potential candidates have wrapped both their professional and personal lives in their social media, which parts are ok for you to consider? While it would be unethical to make a hiring decision because of something personal in a candidate’s profile, you can use social profiles to determine if he or she might be a better fit, culturally. For example, if your office culture values a love of rock music, that is not a discriminatory factor in selecting a candidate.
LinkedIn can be your best friend, because it’s designed to be a professional social network. This means that the profiles of potential candidates are curated for recruiters to look at. Candidates expect that their profile will be under the careful watch of professional contacts. LinkedIn makes it simple to find important information like employment history, skills, and references. Because of this, over 90% of all recruiters use LinkedIn when searching for potential hires.
If you’re looking to get to know a little more about your candidate outside of their work history, Facebook can be a powerful tool. A person’s Facebook page can tell you a lot about them. Most if not all the people you might need to vet will have a Facebook page, making Facebook an invaluable resource. But you need to be aware that accessing a candidate’s Facebook page may expose you to discriminatory information.
There are also many niche social networks, like GitHub for software developers, that can yield great results because they are focused on particular professions. But remember, not all industries have their own social network, and not all good candidates will be sure to use a niche social network.
When searching out candidates online, there are as many potential pitfalls as there are upsides. Work with a company that understands the evolving online landscape and the opportunity it brings. Contact ClearStar today!