#Nextchat: Should Recruiters Judge Candidates by Their Social Media Profiles?

Should job seekers clean up their social media profiles when actively searching for a job?

Perhaps it would be wise to delete the “I hate my boss” posts, the mug shot of your wild weekend in Vegas, or the rants about your disdain for baby seals. But the weekend pictures where you are having a beer or a glass of wine and a great time? Those funny cat memes? Where’s the harm?

Social networking sites have an intended purpose, but most are created for people to share their experiences and to show a personal side.

As recruiters and HR professionals, we work hard to try to see the real side of candidates. Then we spend all this time and money to create the best culture in our organizations.  We want to have fun and be the cool, hip kids on the block, but our backwards recruiting practices may not reflect that.
HR and recruiting professionals walk a fine line when we pass judgment on what’s appropriate and inappropriate on social media profiles. Before the world became obsessed with social media, we interviewed and hired candidates based on abilities. For the most part, they succeeded. If there were issues, we addressed them. That used to be the job of the recruiter and HR generalist.

But with all of the information available today, HR tends to out-think itself. We over-analyze Google search results and we are so afraid to take a risk that we actually run the risk of losing great candidates. We also forget to trust the tools that have gotten us to where we are today: solid interviewing questions, reference checking and background screening tools that are compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

So should social media be the main deal breaker for hiring that great candidate?

Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 16 for #Nextchat with special guest John Hudson (@JohnPHudson), HR Manager with Discovery Communications and Harpo Studios.  We’ll chat about how social media is affecting recruiting and candidate selection in the 21st century.

Q1. Should recruiters and hiring managers search the social media profiles of candidates?  Why/why not?
Q2. Do recruiters and hiring managers now consider social media profiles to be part of a candidate’s resume?
Q3. Should recruiters/hiring managers include a candidate’s social media posts as criteria for hiring? Why/why not?
Q4. Was your decision to hire/not hire a job candidate ever affected by something you saw on a social media profile? How?
Q5. Would you hire a skilled and experienced candidate regardless of what you saw on social media?  Where do you draw the line?
Q6. Do you place less value on candidates who do NOT have LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter accounts? Why?
Q7. Have you ever been questioned about a social media post during an interview? Did you feel it was a legitimate question?
Q8. How can candidates protect themselves from recruiter bias due to their social media profiles?

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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