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Get Your Social Media Act Together - Your Job Depends On It

Employee pf the MonthYou’ve found the perfect candidate. They have the skills, the experience and their personality is just the right fit for the organisation. There’s just one problem; they have one too many ‘drunken-night-out’ photos on their publicly visible Facebook account.

You’re now faced with a decision. Do you present this person to your hiring manager despite their social media faux pas or do you veto them regardless of their talents?

Why do I ask? Well, I ask because according to the Irish Metro Herald (July 15th, 2013), 7 out of 10 employers will Google potential staff before making the call as to whether or not to hire them, and a whopping 80% said they wouldn’t hire someone without checking the candidate’s social media footprint first.

OopsFor job seekers, it would seem the importance of having a good, up-to-date, properly completed LinkedIn profile is paramount, with 72% of employers surveyed using LinkedIn as a background search method. This is nothing new to us recruiters. We use LinkedIn on a very regular basis and do judge candidates by their professional profiles for obvious reasons. What may be surprising however, is the percentage of employers that check out potential staff on Facebook. Job seekers will need to ensure their personal Facebook profiles are either locked down with privacy settings or at least vetted for incriminating statuses and photos when 35% of bosses are now deciding to check profiles. Twitter is also increasingly being used as a way of deducing someone’s character with 26% of employers scoping out potential candidates on the Hire Memicro-blogging site. Something British teen Paris Brown, found out the hard way when she was forced to quit her role as “teenage crime czar” with Kent police after she was discovered to have posted racist and homophobic tweets.

So, knowing the stats, what would you, as a recruiter, do when faced with our fictional candidate? Would he/she be put forward for consideration or resigned to the ‘No’ pile? Would someone with all the right skills etc. be overlooked for the sake of a couple of dodgy photos? Or are social media oopsies a deal breaker? How important is a candidate’s social media personality to your decision as to whether or not to present them to your hiring manager? Can we really learn all we need to know about a candidate from their social media updates? And as a side note, how important are a candidates listed referees? Are their recommendations still relevant in a world full of social media?

So many questions we’d love to hear your answers to, so let us know what you think in the comments below.

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