Studying Social Media For Candidate Flaws

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been integrated so much into the lives of nearly everyone that it’s almost impossible to imagine life without them.  

In an article that appeared on the Human Resource Online website,  Bridgette Hall suggests that while competition for top talent is fierce, social media does provide some very good tools in helping to ensure that you have made the right hire and avoid those who may present problems for your organization in the future. Armed with a name and a location, it’s fairly easy to look up the profiles of applicants on the more popular social media platforms.

On Facebook:

  • A candidate’s ‘About Me ‘page is a good place to look to see if what they present in their cover letter and resume is consistent with what they put out on social media. If who they are socially is at odds with the person they present on paper, it can be a red flag.
  • If photos are able to be viewed, check to see how they present themselves to the world. Be on the lookout for profanity or any racist, sexist or similar biases that could present problems for your organization in the future.
  • Facebook also owns the photo platform, Instagram. Check to see what the candidate chooses to feature as photos and that the subject matter and how they interact with others is professional.

On Twitter:

  • The screen name someone chooses on Twitter can give good insights into what someone is like. Make sure that it is professional.
  • The number of mutual followers can give recruiters good insights. Look at what a candidate tweets or re-tweets on the platform. Check to see if they follow leaders in their industry.
  • Beware if a candidate tweets or shares any trade secrets or other information about past employers. If a potential candidate has a timeline that consists mainly of trolling others, chances are they won’t be a good fit for your organization. Again, be on the lookout for any type of racist, sexist or bigoted commentary that could indicate problems later.