Is social networking suitable for screening job candidates?

The truth is out: More and more employers are checking out applicants online and on social media before filling roles and more and more job searchers are using social media to find new work.

The latest study from social media monitoring service Reppler suggests Facebook is checked by 76% of employers, Twitter by 53% and 48% LinkedIn. Yet, not all are on the hunt to exclude. 68% of employers said they had hired a candidate because of something they saw about them on a social networking site. Check out the interesting infographic here based on the findings.

Trawling through CVs however is often hard enough, let alone then looking at each applicant’s Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In etc profile. So do employers really check? Some would probably even admit to not taking up full references once a job has been offered. In the busy world of HR do companies really have time to check individual profiles?

Interestingly, Reppler the force behind this latest survey do not appear to be singing their own praises but their own service could be a tool every HR department could put to great use to check out existing and potential employees.

Actually aimed at candidates to check how their profiles appear to potential employers it analyses posts, tweets, photos and the like and flags up content that might put-off potential employers.

Unfortunately the system is not backwards compatible and you need to login using your social network account to run the checks, so it is only of use to candidates looking to clean-up their act and not employers looking to fast-track their checks.

However, what the site does offer businesses are some valuable pointers as to what you should be looking for as potential ‘issue’ when considering a candidate’s employability.

Reppler flags content that it feels might be considered inappropriate. That can include drugs, alcohol, adult content, and derogatory language. What it also does is compare information across different profiles across social networks to find similarities and differences.

Information such as work history or education should obviously match if the candidate is telling the truth, but it is surprising how often it doesn’t. Are you making these checks?

Do you use social media to screen job candidates? Do you have any other tips for fellow employers?

SHARETweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestDigg thisShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Tim Fuell only joined the Webfusion team last year but having been a customer of the group for more than 10 years, he knew all about their success in the Web hosting field. After writing his Masters thesis on the threat of cybersquatting way back in 1998, he has seen the Internet grow beyond even his wildest dreams. A journalist for over 16 years and a qualified Solicitor, Tim is one of a team of bloggers in the Webfusion stable aiming to educate, inform and assist their online readership.