The title leads us to a very sensational topic about hiring managers crossing ethical and legal barriers to scan candidate profile during interview stages on social media networks. While it is a fact that doing a web research reveals various degrees of information about a candidate, it is essential for an employer to primarily assess professional profiles and networks of candidates rather than social networks that depicts personal attributes of the candidate, insufficient to gauge their skill and ability.
Employers must also be constantly aware of the types of information that categorises as personal information, hence restricted and therefore must be refrained from using at the selection process. These could be information related to race; gender; class; religion etc. and using them to assess candidates could be potentially threatening. On the other hand, it also builds sufficient pressure on job seekers to evaluate their posts and comments to their own social network of friends and family, for the fear of being misjudged, which is again, not setting the right precedent.
In the past, selection processes were comprehensive, manual and lengthy where companies tried to determine candidate fitment through their resumes. With the advent of technology, companies are increasingly leaning on various social media tools of candidate verification since they have wider information about the candidates today. There’s no denying the fact that finding the right job has become easier for job seekers today. What used to be a tremendously lengthy and tiring process has now been replaced with an effective search that doesn’t require any legwork unlike earlier. The modern tools allow job seekers to leverage their network to find the top opportunities from around the web within their targeted job hunt, for which they are most suitably qualified. And the job search model today, fundamentally hinges on creating a resource pool to maximise their recruitment efficiency.
In fact, it is important for job seekers to effectively leverage their professional social networks that will help them stay ahead of the competition and get through opportunities where they are most qualified. Does it mean that candidates should modify their social media profile content if they knew a potential employer was reviewing their profile? Well, research suggests that nearly 50% candidates would not modify their page if they knew they are being reviewed on social media as part of hiring process. In similar instances, these tips can help job seekers in managing their social media profiles better:
- Ensure that online professional profiles are regularly updated and complete. Recruiters often use these tools to evaluate potential candidate.
- Engage in online communities discussing subjects of interest and passion. Participating in these exchanges reflect your interest area that may or may not be relevant in your job selection but provides a necessary dimension of your personality to the employer.
- Always stay connected to the professional contacts on social media networks. These networks often go a long way in bridging the gap between fitment and skill-set.
Having said the above, potential employers will continue to use social media to examine candidate profile for objectionable content. Barring certain edge cases where candidates are requested to share their social media passwords, most companies will pursue sharp and intelligent policies that will effectively leverage relevant information about candidates from social media. For employers therefore, the following tips could help them fetch the relevant information during hiring process:
- Use mobile applications that can help in streamlining recruiting process and interview schedules
- Leverage talent pool to create a large resource pool that can be tapped readily during future requirements.
- Social media can be a great resource for discovering passive candidates – people who are employed but ‘seeking a change’.
Also Read: Importance of employee verification
In a nutshell, social media brings positive aspects to the entire hiring process and job seekers can benefit from online communities and media engagements to improve their odds of finding the right job. Similarly, if employers follow intelligent policies of fetching relevant information, it will improve their chances of attracting top talent for specialised positions. While there will be fringe companies who cross ethical boundaries while sourcing talent through social media, but the ones, following ethical and legal steps will certainly outnumber the earlier. However, it largely remains the prerogative of each individual or employer to decide the extent of information they would like to share or fetch respectively during a recruitment drive.