The world has gone social; that’s no secret. What continues to evolve, however, is how companies are utilizing social media during the recruiting process and to vet their candidates. Serious job seekers are often confused about what’s advisable to be shown on their social media profiles. Some might argue they should be free to post as they please.. Others might argue that a person’s public image is, in fact, grounds for keeping or shredding the resume of an applicant.
How Social Media Profiles Can Affect Hiring Decisions
Candidates use many different social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to learn more about their prospective employers. From an applicant’s perspective, that only makes sense. After all, interviewees need to show they’ve researched the company and have a substantial amount of material from which to build intelligent conversations during the interview process. Candidates can also read reviews from other employees to determine if the company is a fit for them.
Employers have caught onto this trend and are also seeking out ways to help them learn more about candidates long before they actually shake hands. Often, recruiters are using social media to learn:
- If any contradictory information has been supplied on resumes; and
- If any red flags exist.
While employers are honestly seeking information that can help them with hiring decisions, there are also plenty of pitfalls that come with this type of recruiting.
What Companies Need to Keep in Mind when Browsing Profiles
You can learn a lot from the internet. If you’re an HR professional or hiring manager, you can also learn too much. Remember, the EEOC forbids discrimination of protected classes, and much of this information is revealed online. You could easily uncover a person’s age, race, religion, or gender. You may learn about disabilities or find that your applicant is pregnant. Eliminating a candidate for any of these reasons is unlawful and can result in serious compliance penalties if a court determines your company was in the wrong. While you may not have been looking for this information, it could fall into your lap and make it difficult to make a legal assessment of a candidate.
Avoiding Social Media Mishaps in Recruiting
You need a filter. Separate the recruiting and hiring functions, allowing a neutral party to sift through the social media to find relevant information to be used during the recruiting process will protect against illegal use of information. This person should report only what’s necessary to the hiring manager. Great communication skills, a lively personality, a triumphant spirit — these qualities should absolutely be passed along. Characteristics attributable to a protected class should stay with the initial investigator, as those conversations have no place in the hiring decision process.
Only use publicly available information, and never ask candidates for passwords for their social media accounts.
Contact Insight Performance Today
If you’re unsure which hiring procedures fall within the guidelines of the law when it comes to social media, it’s best to speak to a team of HR professionals who can guide you through the process. The most innocent of slip-ups could mean major implications if you don’t fully understand what you are and aren’t allowed to do when it comes to combining social media and recruitment strategies. Our team at Insight Performance is here to help. Reach out to us, and let us help you find your next great team member! Contact us today for more information.