So, you’ve decided to check out potential new employees on social media sites.  Social media can be a useful part of your recruiting strategy, but it’s important to be careful when perusing personal profiles.

Not everything online is part of a resume.
When reviewing social media profiles for your job candidates, there are a few items that you may want let slide:

  1. Poor Communication/Grammar
    In today’s society, most of us have developed a hybrid of text / Facebook talk. Even Oxford University has added “lol” to its dictionary, further bleeding the line between slang and professional communication. So, when you’re reviewing profiles, don’t let poor grammar sour your impression of a candidate. If you’re looking for a professional in a position where writing is a critical component of the job, review a portfolio of pieces as part of the recruitment process. Social media sites are where many of us go to let loose and share things with our family and friends – and the language used reflects that notion.
  2. Disparaging Remarks
    Take any remarks posted on a public wall with a grain of salt, particularly if they’re to other members of the candidate’s “friends” list on Facebook or “followers” on Twitter. When you wade into personal profiles, you risk entering into personal conversations. A good-natured ribbing on Facebook does not mean that a potential employee will bash you. Negative remarks about prior employers may require some additional digging, though.
  3. Vacation Pictures
    Haven’t most of us gone on a vacation once in awhile? Resist the urge to look at a job candidate’s personal photos and if you do, it’s best to keep any observations completely separate from the hiring process. Maybe some candidates like to wear mouse ears and have their picture taken with 6-foot rodents. Maybe others like to go rock climbing or backpacking through Europe. Appreciate the scenery, but don’t let personal opinions on vacations cloud your judgment in the hiring process.
  4. Notes about Job History
    Some people may share minor tidbits about their professional histories on personal Facebook profiles. Try not to take professional information shared on a personal profile as representative of a candidate’s qualifications. The most beneficial and accurate information, relevant to an interview, should be found on a candidate’s professional resume.
  5. Legally-Prohibited Information
    As we examined more closely last month, Federal Equal Employment Laws prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities, and prohibit bias based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, age, as well as other considerations. State and Local laws may impose even stricter rules depending on where your business operates.  If you are concerned that prohibited information could impede your ability to make a fair hiring decision, it may be best to avoid social media profiles altogether.

Find talented professionals for your organization.
Masiello Employment Services offers a range of strategic staffing and recruiting services. We can customize a solution to help your organization succeed.