Monday, June 27, 2011

Top 5 Tips for Using Social Media to Screen Candidates

Companies are realizing the potential benefits of social media and integrating it into their marketing and customer service strategies.  Another new trend in the world of business is the use of social media for recruitment purposes. By following an applicant on Twitter, by viewing an applicant’s Facebook page or even by reading an applicant’s blog, you can learn much more information than by simply reviewing resumes. Text and photos posted by a job candidate may reveal such information as illegal use of drugs, unethical behavior, poor writing and communication skills, attitude towards previous places of work.
However, some information that is readily available on social media sites is protected by  law: marital status, religion, age, ethnicity, disability, and as a result cannot be used for hiring decisions. Here are five tips to consider when using social media to screen candidates.

1. Avoid being too judgmental. For example, if there is a picture of a candidate drinking a beer at a bar, that does not mean the candidate has a drinking problem.
2. Make the process of screenin identical for all candidates. (Social media websites used, kind of information searched). Focus on knowledge, skills and abilities, and on information that is relevant to the job.
3.Have somebody not involved in a decision making process conduct the screening and report only information that is legally permissable for hiring decisions.
4. If an applicant's social networking page is closed to the public, do not request the candidate to add him/her as a friend. The applicant may be pressure to accept the request because he/she may feel that the hiring decision will depend on it.
5. Always have proper documentation showing that the hiring decision was non-discriminatory.