High turnover rates are often the result of candidates not being completely honest during the resume screening and interview process. To prevent hiring mistakes, experts at the Goodkind Group are frequently assisting companies that want to hire better, more honest employees.
Screening social media profiles online is a great technique that helps employers get a better picture of who a candidate is. Screening has become such a growing trend that human resources experts are often expected to extract crucial information about candidates before recommending them for hire. Here are just a few reasons why companies are using this technique and how it can help your business improve its hiring process.
1. Most Candidates Put Up a Front During Hiring
This is normal and not necessarily because candidates are dishonest. Human nature is to put one’s best foot forward in an interview. That being said, one 30-minute interview (or even a day-long interview process) doesn’t provide all the information needed to truly understand a candidate.
A careful investigation of one’s social media profiles can round out a hiring team’s perspective on a candidate. Sometimes their social media profiles enhance their employability, and other times, it can open their eyes to critical character issues that could prove a liability to the company.
2. The Top Candidates Brand Themselves Professionally Online Through Social Media
Thanks to an increasingly purposeful approach to content marketing, job seekers are branding themselves as thought leaders in their industry via personal social media pages. This means that they are actively sharing industry updates, offering assistance to peers, or even developing their own professional blog or website.
Finding candidates who think and operate in this way can be a huge asset to the company brand (particularly for jobs in sales or marketing).
3. Social Media Can Showcase a Candidate’s Personality
Personality is perhaps not the only component of a hiring decision, but every workplace considers employee chemistry. Examining a candidate’s profile can help hiring managers get a sense of what their personality is like and how they might fit into the company culture. As social media continues to push the envelope on how open users choose to be, many employers have been able to identify disturbing pathologies among some candidates. For others, social media is neither a positive or negative indicator, but it can certainly paint a more complete picture of the candidate’s values and social approach.
Dangers of Looking Candidates Up Online Via Their Social Media Profiles
Unfortunately, screening prospective employees online is not easy. Not only can it be difficult to identify the right profile, but there are many ways in which employers use social media screening to unintentionally (and even intentionally) violate anti-discrimination laws.
Ideally, employers work with recruiting agencies like The Goodkind Group that are qualified to perform full background screenings (that include social media screenings) in compliance with the law. For those employers that want to perform these screenings correctly, there are a few dangers to avoid.
1. There are Thousands of Fake Social Media Profiles
Not only do hundreds (or thousands) of people share the same name, but some people create fake profiles online. If the profile seems recent and generic, there’s a chance the profile is fake. Other indicators, such as mismatched photos or the individual’s location being different than the one listed on the resume can also be indicators that the profile is not the right one.
Some employers avoid this mistake by asking candidates to volunteer links to their social media profiles. Of course, no candidate is ever required by law to volunteer this information.
2. Work-Life and Personal Life are Often Very Different Things
If the candidate’s social media profile (in particular, non-LinkedIn channels such as Facebook) seems overly-rowdy but not outright offensive, it is important for employers to understand that most people have a very different life outside of the office. Close-minded hiring teams might see pictures of a candidate partying on Facebook and overlook the candidate, even though that might have been the most qualified individual they came across. This is a critical reality that employers screening their candidates on social media need to consider.
3. It is Easy to Violate Anti-Discrimination Laws
In the situation described above, employers can be charged with discrimination if they fire or avoid hiring a candidate because of behavior that is not illegal. These include issues such as a candidate’s political and religious views, as well as their race and sexual orientation. If a hiring manager discards a candidate because of personal preferences related to these issues, then that hiring manager makes the entire company liable for misconduct and discrimination.
For more information about how The Goodkind Group can help your company properly screen candidates online in compliance with employment laws, contact a consultant today at (212) 378-0700 or visit our website.