In the ever-more digital world we´re living in, a candidate´s profile online should definitely not be ignored during the hiring process. Yes, a candidate will send you a great resume and appealing cover letter which will give you a lot of insights on their experience and skills. These two documents are usually prepared as “pitch” documents, showing you how professionally they could be a great fit for the job. However, whether someone is a great fit for the job doesn´t only depend on their hard experiences and skills. There is also a more social side to screening a candidate to determine how well they would fit in the company culture, what they are truly passionate about, and what their personal life looks like. This is where social media comes in and can provide you with some great additional insights.
However, the online world is not an easy one to navigate. There are so many social networks out there and you need to know which one to turn to for which information. Below you can find an overview of the most used social networks and how you can benefit from them:
In the recruiting world, LinkedIn is probably the most well-known social network. Of course, this is also due to the fact that LinkedIn is a professional social network, or with other words, a person´s LinkedIn profile is kind of their resume online. This means that most people will keep their presence on this network mostly professional but it will still be able to give you important insights in addition to the resume and cover letter you already have. One of the first things to look for is whether their LinkedIn profile is consistent with their offline resume. Other facts to look for on LinkedIn are the companies and influencers that the candidate is following to get some insights on what they are interested in and passionate about. Also, if the candidate is publishing a lot of information that is related to your industry for example, that is relevant information for you as a recruiter.
Facebook is probably one of the reasons for the “social” part in the term social media. This is where you will see the real side of a candidate. Be it through pictures, through messages they publish or through groups they interact with. That being said, quite some candidates will hide these publications for anyone that is not connected with them on Facebook so you might not be able to see a lot. However, if you do see drunk pictures you probably know enough about this candidate.
You might wonder how much you might be able to learn from 140characters messages. But you would be surprised, by analyzing a candidate´s Twitter profile and seeing what kind of Tweets they publish you will learn a lot about their true interests.
Instagram is more of a visual social network so by checking out a candidate´s profile you will get a deeper understanding of their personal life, cultural interests, and hobbies. Basically, you should see this network as a “photo life diary” and you can get to learn a little more about the personal side of the candidate.
Especially if you´re recruiting for creative positions, Pinterest might be a good place to do some additional research about a candidate. Creatives often share their work on Pinterest so you could get a look in their personal portfolio.
In summary, social media should not be overlooked when evaluating whether a candidate could be a great fit for your company because they will provide very valuable additional insights next to the resume and cover letter. Also, remember that on social media a candidate can´t just brush everything up for a specific job application so it will give you a real insight into a candidate´s life.
Photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via VisualHunt / CC BY