Social Media Snooping for Hiring Managers


77% of companies who responded used social media as a screening method in hiring practices according to a 2013 survey of by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). While some may think this is unlawful or unethical, the truth is that social media is so mainstream that ignoring its value in screening job candidates would be a missed opportunity. However, it is important to not rely solely on social media for the screening of candidate personality and character.

So, in the interest of helping you achieve your social snooping potential, here are some tips on how to snoop properly and effectively eliminate candidates…

  1. While social media seems to be a part of everyday life for many, there are still some who have yet to build a social media presence. By basing hiring decisions off of social media, employers run the risk of making biased decisions and selecting the wrong candidate. Eliminating candidates based on their lack of social presence can lead to the wrong hire.

  1. Find any complaints concerning current employers. Chances are if they are complaining openly about their current employer, they won’t hesitate to do the same for yours. Avoid adding damage to your brand by crossing complainers off your list.

  1. Search for people you know. From a hiring standpoint, networking is key. So, click through the friends list of your top candidates to see if you have any mutual connections. Then, reach out for insight to make a sound decision.

  1. Consider the source. As far as social media is concerned, LinkedIn serves as a social resume and provides little information pertaining to personality and character. Facebook and Twitter are used on a more personal level and may disclose very personal information that cannot legally be used against them in hiring.

  1. Digging through social media can alert you to negative aspects of a candidate. Unfortunately, social media snooping can also provoke other biases, both consciously and subconsciously. This can become grounds for discrimination and open the door for legal issues.

  1. Basing essential hiring decisions off of hear-say is problematic. Social media provides a forum for an outpouring of personal opinions. Therefore, remember to consider what is posted by the candidate rather than what is posted about the candidate to avoid making assumptions based on outside opinions.

Good luck, Sleuth!


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