Social Media Screening for Recruitment: Yay or Nay?

I’m assuming you have Facebook account and you have probably noticed the memories notifications, where Facebook feels the need to remind you about all the things you have posted on that date throughout the years. If you’re anything like me half of those posts make you cringe, laugh or wonder about your own state of mind.

However, what is of concern is that recruiters are now using your numerous social media posts to help them decide if you are an ideal candidate or not. So this then begs the question what is necessary due diligence and what is sheer invasion of privacy?

1. Firstly I think recruiters should look for repeated behavior not isolated incidents. Most people will have at least one inappropriate picture, political rant or dubious association, only if it is repeated should it then become a source of concern.

2. Be consistent – If you do online searches, do them exactly the same for all candidates of that caliber. Set parameters and make them part of your recruitment procedure. That way you’re  not discriminating and it’s just part of your policy. For example, if you’re looking at online activities for a candidate who has a 9 to 5 job, and find that they post every hour that could be a red flag that they would be on social media during company time. But if you’re looking at a female candidates post of how much she loves babies and you see that as red flag of her potentially becoming pregnant and needing maternity leave then, that’s a bit problematic. Basically, the information should be relevant to the job.

3. Follow up with a candidate – if a candidate seems great on paper and  in person but you have a few misgivings about their online presence, ask them about it and give them a chance to challenge the negative feedback. Maybe their #MenAreTrash tweet was because they were going through a break up as opposed to them thinking all men are  actual trash and they are incapable of working with them.

However, this still leaves the question , if you don’t want to be judged for it, why post it on a public social media site? My advice to candidates is lock down your social media presence by increasing your privacy settings- people can’t judge what they can’t see. That way it’s not a conversation starter or worse off ender.

Please let me know your thoughts Social Media Screening for Recruitment by leaving a comment in the comments section.

Have a productive day!



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