Looking to Hire – Let Social Media Be Your Guide


A few weeks ago, we explored the best practices for transferring knowledge when a team member leaves your company and a new employee takes his or her place. But before you can make this transition, you need to make the hire! The standard practice of gathering applications and resumes, holding interviews, and even scheduling test days still apply, but employers have a new weapon in their hiring arsenal: Social Media.

Forbes reports that just over one third of employers have used social media to evaluate job candidates aid that they chose not to hire someone due to the content on their social profiles. From evaluating their qualifications for the position itself to determining cultural fit, social media offers valuable insights into your potential new employees. Let’s review the top reasons to scan your job candidates’ social media.

  • Determine Level of Professionalism:

    Remember, social media is public domain and what your employees do there reflects onto your business. For instance, if a candidate uses excessive inappropriate language and posts crude photos, not only could customers potentially see this on the internet, it may be indicative of how they will behave in the workplace and interact with your customers. This is not to say you need to scour through their social profiles for hours looking for dirt, but if you are noticing a general negative trend, think twice before making that hire.

  • Assess Cultural Fit:

    Let’s face it, interviews are nerve wracking even for the most calm and collected candidates. You may not get a true feel for a potential employee’s personality in an hour long interview. Click through their social profiles to get a better idea of who they are and how they would fit in with your team. Look for similar senses of humor and some common interests, but look for points of difference too. You need them to be able to relate to your team on common ground, yet look at projects from a new perspective that others may not have caught.

  • Review Qualifications:

    LinkedIn offers potential employees to create a digital resume of sorts, listing past work experience and education, providing a personal summary of their qualifications and skills, and even allowing a space for other users to endorse and recommend them. Use this platform to your advantage!

    Look at the types of projects they have worked on and evaluate their skill sets to determine if they are qualified for the position. Then scan their recommendations and endorsements to see what others have to say about them and their work. Be sure that at least some of these accolades are coming from former employers, coworkers and/or clients to ensure that they are a true reflection of their work and not just favors from their friends.

  • Find Their Passion:

    Once you have concluded that a candidate is qualified for the position, it’s time to dig a little deeper. You don’t just want an employee who can do the job, you want someone who will be excited to come to work each day. The kinds of things they post about, retweet, share, and like will glimpse at their interests. For instance, if you are looking to hire a marketing assistant, look for someone who shares news about social media or SEO trends. Don’t discount a good candidate who is not posting these kinds of things, after all they may just prefer to keep their professional and personal lives separate, but do give extra consideration to those passionate applicants.

Before you make your next hiring decision, be sure to scan your applicants’ social profiles. It will reveal any red flags and may even help you uncover a diamond in the rough.

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