social media and HR

If your hiring managers are having a difficult time determining which candidates make the best hires, they may need applicant information that goes beyond the traditional resume. The CV remains an important summary of a person’s professional experience, but today’s hyper-connected environment provides much more insights. Here are some ways to reveal what’s online.

mining social media for gold

Social media can tell you things about a candidate that a resume can’t. While their education, work experience and other career information are the first qualifiers for a role, you’ll want to go beyond these criteria to find the best employees. In fact, cultural fit is often a better predictor of successful hire, and you can get a feel for this through a person’s social media accounts.

Facebook and Twitter provide an insightful look at hobbies, personality and even leadership skills. A candidate’s LinkedIn account will also show recommendations and comments from past employers. It’s also a window into their sharing activities and views on their areas of expertise.

cover all bases with a broad search

Ever Googled a long-lost acquaintance? Try it with a candidate to get more insights not revealed by their social presence. You’ll probably find lots of information you didn’t even know existed that can make your hiring decision easier. A word of caution, however: unless the candidate has a very unique name, make sure the information you unearth is for the same person. After all, isn’t there someone else out there with your exact name?

why it’s legal

If you’re worried about the legal implications of all this, don’t be. Public data and social media profiles are just that — public. When someone willingly shares information online, they give up the right to privacy. There are, however, other considerations to keep in mind. For instance, if you reject a candidate based on religion or sexual orientation — information discovered online — then you may be in violation of local regulations, so be careful of how you use your findings.

protect yourself

You’ll want to consult with your in-house legal department to determine which sites are permissible, who in the organization is authorized to conduct the research and what types of data they will review. How you do this for one candidate should then be applied to all others.