As HR professionals and recruiters, it’s convenient to be able to look up detailed information about potential candidates simply by doing a quick Google search. What comes up in the information feed may not be as simple, however. This is because a wide range of information appears, thanks to social network data that rises to the top.
Social network screening of candidates should be handled with kid gloves. It is possible that you may encounter a mix of positive and negative information about a candidate. Yet, you are not to misuse this information or use it to form your hiring decision. To do so would be unethical.
Making use of social network screening and recruitment can be beneficial if you follow the basic “rules” of engagement.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts of candidate social network screening to note.
Do – Take a moment to connect on a professional social network
In the modern business world, candidates are looking for strategic connections with industry leaders and hiring companies, like yours. It’s ok to accept a request to connect on such social networks as LinkedIn as this is a good way to learn more about each other before the interview.
Don’t – Join a candidate’s personal social networks
Social networks such as Facebook or Pinterest are far too personal connections to have with candidates, because they allow more access to personal data and relationships. Kindly decline or ignore these connection requests, and instead opt for professional networking alone.
Do – Review the professional social network profile for consistency
One useful way to evaluate a candidate using social networking is to compare their resume to the information on their professional networks. Does it match up? Do the dates and history make sense?
Don’t – Use the social network data as your sole investigative or screening process
Social networks are only a small piece of the puzzle while evaluating candidates for their suitability for your company. Use them to augment, instead of replacing, your recruitment and screening practices.
Do – Take advantage of social recruitment tools
With the rise of social media networks, there are many easy ways to use new tools to maximize this resource. For example, LinkedIn now allows for seamless application via their special recruitment widget.