Earlier in 2017, Facebook hit a milestone of 2 billion monthly users. It's estimated that more than three quarters of Americans operate at least one social media profile. Further, because technology, the Internet, and social media are all becoming more popular, these statistics are set to increase exponentially in coming years.
A hearty majority of people log into social media platforms to communicate with friends, share information about their lives, and keep in touch with co-workers. Businesses also use social media to share information about their offerings, hours of operation, and performing customer service functions. However, some entities also rely on social media to vet applicants before they're hired.
Even though posts can be deleted or edited, profiles can be removed from public view or deleted entirely, and people can selectively share their lives, rather than having everything shared about themselves and peers, social media continues to be an accurate insight into the lives of millions of individuals.
As such, it's easy to understand why businesses utilise social media to screen applicants. However, not all business entities understand the basics of using social media screening to find applicants most suited for employment at their organisations.
Let's delve into several strategies for using social media at your own business.
Confirming One's Work Experience and Credentials
People often claim to have job experience, educational achievements, accolades, and skills that boost their proverbial draft stock in terms of value to employees. However, not all applicants possess such qualifications.
Although looking to the Internet won't always uncover fibbing applicants, it's worth a shot. Look to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, web pages, blogs, Answers, and other social media platforms to assess one's self-reported accolades. Wise applicants will make sure claims among all social platforms are identical. However, it's not unheard of to catch people lying, by simply looking to information they've voluntarily submitted to social media platforms.
Professionalism is Important
Regardless of what line of business your entity operates in, it's important for all employees and associates to act professionally both inside, and outside, of the workplace.
Individuals that post inappropriate content on social media pages are likely to act inappropriately in the workplace. While this isn't always true, hiring someone with vulgar, explicit, or discriminatory content on their pages are likely to suggest bad behaviour and tendencies to act inappropriately, something that Fama excels at locating.
Never Look for Protected Characteristics
Most governments don't allow employers to judge candidates on a number of characteristics, including sexual orientation, race, and age. It's important to involve someone not responsible for hiring decisions in screening social media pages.
Have these individuals prepare executive summaries for those that make decisions, being careful to exclude information related to protected characteristics.
Only Use Public and Self-Provided Information
Passwords, usernames, and email addresses aren't information that's available to the public. As such, you should be careful to not ask applicants for login credentials, as doing so is often against laws.
People that are asked for login credentials are less likely to be interested in working for your company, as well.
Make It Well-Known That You're Searching for Social Media Pages
It's important for all individuals both within and outside an organization to be informed their social media profiles are being screened. Make sure to disclose this in any paperwork provided to applicants.