It could happen? Ok not really but what started me on a very passionate post that I had to quiet a bit after a few drafts were the comments from an infograph on How Recruiters Use Social Media, by Erica Swallow about how recruiters use social media to screen candidates. The comments were spiced with bits about how people cannot believe a recruiter would eliminate someone based on what they saw online (in various forms). It got me going nuts inside! One of the strongest findings, recruiters who participated in this confidential survey shared that 69% of recruiters had ruled out candidates based on what they viewed on their social media sites. Conversely 68% of recruiters hired a candidate based on the profile or pages of a candidates social media presence.
Obviously this type of information is going to send lawyers and candidates everywhere in to an uproar, but wait a minute I am confused! I personally don’t search out candidates to see their activity on Facebook however I have searched for candidates on Facebook and LinkedIn and I post jobs on both. I also use LinkedIn to review a candidate.
I have put together a hypothetical thought. Here are some potential ramifications if recruiters are not supposed to use social media to make hiring decisions and stop:
- No more posting jobs on twitter, google+, LinkedIn, LI Groups, Facebook, etc…
- No more asking for recommendations from colleagues, former bosses, customers, etc… on LinkedIn because we won’t be looking at those
- re: #2 it will be back to company policy of dates of employment and title only
- Passive job seekers will have to go back to putting their resumes on CareerBuilder and Monster for their current employers to see
- Most people learn about openings from referrals and people in their “network” that they trust without social media our networks shrink considerably and so do the candidates
Maybe I am in the minority, I believe that what people are doing is working if just as many recruiters have hired candidates based on their online presence as not, they are better odds than the traditional job boards. Honestly, we are looking for strong positive connections to make a good hire that we know will last and by seeing deeper connections through your online profile we feel that much more confident in the decisions we are making.
It is fairly simple what we are looking for:
- We want to see that you have recommendations from former employers, colleagues, customers, etc…
- We want to make sure your resume and profile match
- We want to see that you have connections with a variety of professionals in your industry
- We want to see that you have joined groups in your field
Does this mean that a recruiter should only be using social media to find the positives about a candidate? Define what is positive? This DOES vary from employer to employer and job to job. It isn’t feasible.
RE: YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT (this is the one people seem to really struggle with) Here is the biggest thing to understand, as a job seeker or potential candidate, even a current employee “we” see what you let “us” see! WOW, crazy isn’t it! I don’t want to see any interrogating or compromising pics or posts from any of my friends let alone someone I don’t know; it honestly makes me uncomfortable. If you have an issue with an employer, your grandmother or anyone else seeing you sloppy drunk then use your security settings to block us, we aren’t friends, so that should be easy, as far as grandma you will have a few extra steps to take.
Recruiters and Business owners please note that there are unwritten guidelines and ethics we use as guiding principles in all of our recruiting and sourcing efforts, this is no exception. The laws are detailed and vary based on the use of social media in recruiting be sure that you are staying on top of them or reaching out to a professional when you are unsure of proper protocol.