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Social Recruiting - Is it OK to Track Your Candidates Online?

On05/ 06 /18
Nowadays, many digital savvy recruiters use the Internet to track applicants, scouring social media to determine whether the candidate might be a suitable fit for the role. But, is it appropriate to judge your candidates using just their social network profiles as a point of reference?

What really matters in social recruiting? 

Let’s start with some background. What is social recruitment? 

In today’s world of fast-paced technology, ever shifting expectations of job seekers and even bigger competition for top talent, many companies have been forced to improve and modernise their talent acquisition strategies by introducing social recruiting.

According to research carried out by Jobvite, almost 94% of recruiters either already use or plan to use social media as part of their hiring process. 

When you consider how much time we spend online, this makes sense. Millennials for example, spend the vast majority of their time using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. By introducing social recruiting, companies looking for new employees can completely reshape the hiring process by validating potential candidates through their online activity. 

According to research, most hiring managers don’t deliberately look for negatives; according to Career Builder, over 60% of them are “searching for information that supports the candidate’s qualifications for a job” (including a professional portfolio) and whether the candidate has a professional online persona. 

Common mistakes

So should recruiters track their candidates online or not? The answer is yes, however this should only be used if necessary and relevant to the performance of the job. This is especially true considering the recently introduced EU data protection, GDPR, that “requires for the employer to take into account whether the social media profile of the applicant is related to business or private purpose, as this can be an important indication of the legal admissibility of the data inspection” .  

But when it comes to social media screening, what should be on a recruiter’s radar? According to a YouGov report, more than half (56%) of employers surveyed pointed out that bad spelling and grammar mistakes are an issue, while 75% and 71% respectively citied evidence of aggressive behavior and references to drug use as also being off-putting. For obvious reasons, drunken night out photos also don’t seem to leave a positive impression. 

Look for a clean digital footprint

According to YouGov research nearly one in five employers (19%) have turned down a candidate for a job because of their online activity. 

While ideally, you’d like a candidate to have a clean and professional online footprint, bear in mind that we all have our moments outside of work. If their Linkedin profile picture shows them chugging a yardstick of beer, that’s a red flag, but if they have a professional photo on their Linkedin and something more personal on their Facebook, that’s different. Be reasonable and think about how you’d view yourself if you were dissecting your own online footprint.   

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