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Be More Social When Looking at Potential Employees

employee-socialWith all that business owners have to do in a “normal” work day, monitoring social media feeds probably ranks low on their importance list.

That being said, not checking out the social networking habits of potential employees they may hire can turn out to be a missed opportunity to see if he or she truly is the right fit for your company.

So, is social media something that business owners should spend more time on, especially given the fact that it can cost someone significant dollars to have to continue hiring and training individuals until they get the right fit?

As a recent report from social media monitoring service Reppler noted, 91% of employers check out social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to screen potential hires – with 69% declining a candidate due to something they turned up on the search.

The report goes on to note that nearly 50 percent of companies research social networking sites to screen prospective employees just after receiving their job application, with 76% viewing Facebook, 53% reviewing Twitter and 48% analyzing LinkedIn.

So, what should employers look for when reviewing potential candidates and their social media footprints?

Among the things to review:

1. Comments – Do you come across potential candidates who have had unkind things to say towards current or former coworkers and bosses, family members, and friends? While the latter two are not quite as important, comments directed at those they currently or have worked with should get your attention. It can clearly be a sign that they will not be a good fit for your office, potentially disrupting the chemistry you currently have in place. If they have had negative things to say about their current or former employment situations, there is a chance they will do the same should you hire them;

2. Images – While negative comments on social media can be powerful, sometimes images don’t need words to convey a bad message. The applicant you are currently looking at may have the greatest resume on hand, but his or her decision to post an inappropriate photo on their Facebook page could clearly discount them. Photos that are inappropriate could also result in legal action against them and you should they do such actions on your watch if hired. Just like comments, questionable images should give you pause to consider hiring that person;

3. Judgment – At the end of the day, it basically comes down to judgment, that is the decision making ability of the person you are considering to hire. If they used bad judgment in posting a questionable comment or photo/video on social media, will they use the same negative judgment when it comes to dealing with one of your customers? While some may say that is a stretch, it certainly is something for you to chew on when considering applicants;

4. Friends – Finally, take a look at who the applicant has befriended on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. If they are following and/or being followed by questionable people or sites (gambling, pornography etc.), will they continue that pattern should you hire them? Keep in mind that you could easily set yourself up for a lawsuit if the applicant is hired, then is caught viewing pornography while on the clock. Another employee could witness such imagery, then come to you with a complaint that you simply can’t brush aside. While you can’t order someone to stop following or friending certain individuals or sites, it does give you pause to hiring them, especially if you think they will bring such activity to your company.

In today’s social world, will you follow the trail of footprints on those you seek to hire?

About the Author: With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers a variety of small business and consumer topics, including reputation protection.

Image Credit: 1.

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