Many employers have begun to use social networking sites to find out information, and possibly screen, potential candidates. Learn some tips for how to use social networking sites and profiles effectively in your candidate search.
Since the advent of the Internet, recruiting and hiring practices have become easier than ever. People can search for and find the job of their dreams with one click of the mouse. Similarly, recruiting and staffing firms can post jobs and find the most qualified candidates to fill positions in the blink of an eye.
However, over the past few years, social networking sites have become the most popular destinations on the Internet for almost everyone in or close to Generation Y. These websites enable users to share their lives with the world.
This includes showing pictures, hobbies, personality, etc., for anyone who finds their profile to see. If you are using these websites to screen candidates, the real question that is raised is, "How much information is too much?"
A recent trend shows that employers are starting to use social networking sites to find out information about their potential candidates. According to a CareerBuilder.com survey, 12% of 1,150 hiring managers said they have used social networking sites to screen potential candidates. Of this 12%, 63% said they did not hire a person based on their profiles.
Clearly, we live in an age where it is very easy to judge a candidate by their cover and prove your suspicions correct before ever meeting a candidate face-to-face.
This can actually prove to be very helpful when trying to match a candidate to your client's culture. Whether you are searching for a candidate to fit a small, close-knit company or you are recruiting for a large corporation, your clients have a certain culture that some personalities may clash with. This saves you a great deal of time because you avoid interviewing candidates that wouldn't be the best fit to begin with.
It also helps you discern if a candidate is lying in his or her interview. If your candidate says he or she loves reading in the interview and says that he or she hates books in their online profile, you know something is up. However, there are pitfalls that can easily trap you if you are too reliant on this form of screening.
If you start pre-screening every candidate according to their social network profile, you quickly find yourself becoming too picky. You start weeding out every candidate before they even have a chance to interview for the position. They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but sometimes the images you get from a person's online profile can be misleading. These profiles were created in their leisure time and to stay connected with their circle of friends.
Since people are obviously more comfortable in that situation than in a work situation, they share much more. They also embellish to fit in or impress. And let's be honest, not many people act the same way at work that they do in their social lives. This means that just because someone's profile may put you off doesn't mean they won't be a qualified candidate for an open position with your client. Keep that in mind when reviewing these social network sites.
If you choose to screen candidates using social networking sites, there are a few key items you should be aware of while you are dissecting their profiles. One of the critical items that help you better understand the candidate is the date of most recent update. Some people on these sites created profiles simply because everyone was doing it at some point.
But if their profile hasn't been updated for years, their profile may not be an accurate description of the person. People develop a great deal year-to-year, especially students in college, and an outdated profile may be misleading.
Also, look at hobbies or interests. If they have healthy activities listed, such as reading, exercising, giving back to the community, etc., you will most likely get a positive image of the person, but that doesn't mean that they are any more qualified for the position as the person who has tattoos, piercings, and heavy metal music.
Keep an open mind to each candidate you screen and look for things that relate to the position or your client's culture. If the positives outweigh the negatives, it may be worth bringing the candidate in for an interview, or at least calling them to learn more about them.
Social networking sites can prove to be a great resource for pre-screening candidates for a position. You certainly find a wealth of information about a person and formulate your opinion about them before you even meet. However, heed this warning: do not become reliant on these websites for your screening process.
The face-to-face interview remains the best way to learn if a potential candidate qualifies for your open position. Don't eliminate potential candidates too quickly. You have to give people a chance in the interview stage otherwise you could be losing out on qualified prospects.
National health care reform could have significant implications for the staffing industry. We asked Ed Lenz, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and General Counsel of the American Staffing Association, to provide an update on the status of health care reform, the industry's position, and ASA's efforts to mitigate the impact on staffing.
The best candidate for your open position may already be employed, but it is much harder to find these passive job seekers. Many, however, are willing to move to another position if they receive the right offer.
For staffing and recruiting professionals, the holiday hiring season starts with your client's first "Help Wanted" ad for seasonal work. Make sure you are ready to find the best holiday help for your clients.