Social or Anti-Social: How Do You Hire?

The top priority for your business should be filling your company with Top Performers and with the broad range of tools available hiring top performers should be easier than decades before.  One tool that 91% of recruiters are using in recruiting and vetting candidates is social media.   Since it is so readily available, and people naturally gravitate to it, it is wise to consider how to use Social Media well and within the law. 

Recruiting the Easy Way!

Social Media sites can now be a part of your Human Resources department.  The most popular, and widely used, Social Media sites realize how their sites can easily be used by recruiters.

·        LinkedIN offers job ad placement possibilities, as well as, LinkedIn Recruiter which allows you to search their site by keywords for skills you are seeking in a candidate.  By joining, or creating, an industry-specific group on LinkedIN you can also find potential candidates with industry experience.

·        Twitter:  With 140 characters you can “tweet” your latest job. Prefixing your Tweet with a # and it is searchable on Twitter. For example, #Looking for a Sales Rep in SC, Ocean-side, Good Salary, apply at

·         Facebook: Set up a company page and update it often!  Besides posting job ads on your page, have current employees “like” your page and send out job postings with links to your job page. Offer information about your company (benefits, events, etc.)  Invite people to “like” your page via email or social media marketing.

·        Google+ allows you to post jobs and ask for recommendations.  You can also use a Boolean search to analyze the profiles of Google+ members.

·        Pinterest allows your company to tell your story, share who you are, gain “followers”/potential candidates who are interested in you already.  Once you post a job opportunity it can easily be re-pinned to multiple different Pinterest boards, thus, freely and easily touching a broad audience.  

With all of these readily available sources, your next Top Performer is just a few keyboard clicks away.  

Anti-Vegas Vetting

Unlike Vegas, what happens on the Internet doesn’t stay on the Internet.  What candidates post can be an indication of their thought-processes or values. A little easy “digging” can make the difference between hiring a Top Performer or what looks like a top performer but is a problem employee. 

What Information Found On Social Media Can Be Useful?

Any information that could negatively affect the candidate’s work performance, such as areas of concern like:           

            Have poor communication skills

Candidate has lied about qualifications or past employment

Excessively negative comments about a previous employer

Divulged confidential information

Drug use or excessive alcohol usage

            Indications of Violent tendencies

            Affiliation with extremist groups           

Or Positive information:

            Creativeness of candidate

            Solid communication skills

            Has skills or talents not listed on resume (especially on LinkedIn)

            Is well thought of by peers (via recommendations on LinkedIn)

            Examples that show responsibility and positive values 

But, is it legal? 

Since you are looking for information that is job relevant and you must not use information from the intent that you would ask about in an interview, you must be prudent and follow the EEOC guidelines in what information to consider in your hiring decisions.

Is it legal, the answer is YES…if done in an informed and attentive manner. 

This includes:

1.     Consulting legal counsel to implement a standard written search policy that covers what information will be considered.

2.     Having a signed release from the candidate to perform a thorough background investigation- including social media search.

3.     Avoid Discrimination:  Social media can provide information that you may not otherwise obtain until you perform an interview.  That is why it is suggested that you not initiate a Social Media search until after you have had your initial interview with the candidate. 

4.     Someone other than the final decision-maker (or a third-party business) should be sourced to perform the Social Media screening. This provides a wall of protection between this person (or business) and the final decision-maker.

5.     Maintain uniform records of what disqualifying information was found via Social Media sites, including site names.

6.     Never use Social Media research as the only vetting tool.  We also recommend the following to complete your candidate analysis:

                                                              i.      Pre-employment Assessments, such as Job Fit Assessments

                                                            ii.      Criminal background checks

                                                          iii.      In-depth Supervisor/co-worker reference checks

                                                         iv.      Skills assessment

                                                           v.      Several in-depth, in-person interviews 

Now that you have the tools and information, vetting a candidate for your next open position can be easier, more effective, and more reliable. For additional information, please contact us at or 843.884-9361. 

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