It is inevitable that in today’s society you will encounter some sort of interaction with social media. Whether you are an active user or a passive user, you will eventually have some sort of online presence. Maybe you are tagged in a YouTube video or a Facebook photo. Your name is almost guaranteed to be populated somewhere on the World Wide Web.
A lot of controversy has risen regarding employers who follow up on potential candidates and view their social media outlets to see what kind of personal characteristic their applicants possess. Is this the correct approach to validate the success of future employees? Personally, I don’t agree with Recruiters checking non-professional networking sites to follow up on candidates. If candidates have professional profiles then that should be evaluated first and foremost. Many online users have their Facebook profiles blocked but as social media sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr move towards open networking and connecting to users that have similar interest, the need for discretion and privacy is dwindling. As human beings and active social media users we all have bad days and may post things that are perceived as being negative. I use Reppler to manage my online image which grades postings across all networks and scores the tones of all status updates. Reppler monitors and determines if postings may be perceived as negative or positive. Some professionals would pose the argument that if users don’t execute common sense when posting updates and understand that this information is posted publicly, then they may not have very good judgment when performing the task of a certain position. I strongly disagree; when someone shares a post, it doesn’t necessarily mean they do not have good judgment, it could just mean that they are comfortable sharing certain details with people in their network that have similar interest or feelings.
Overall, employers should not base hiring decisions on social media presence, unless the roles are highly visible such as Public Relations, CEO, COO, etc. If employers prefer to follow up on social media outlets, start with professional networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook apps like BranchOut.
If you choose to eliminate candidates based on social media feeds, you may be missing out on great employees. A great recruiter should be able to determine if they are speaking with quality talent. Behavioral based interviewing will allow you to distinguish between qualified or unqualified candidates. Social media was not designed to grade talent so we cannot utilize it as such a tool. If your organization wants to grade talent implement assessments such as Kenexa ProveIt into your interviewing process. There is a science behind the assessments that can tell you more about your candidates than their Facebook page. Remember no social media site should stop you from interviewing qualified individuals!