Using Social Media for Screening Potential Employees
Just short of 15 years ago - yes, it's been that long (yes, we're that old) - Myspace launched. Its widespread popularity led it to be acquired by News Corporation - I'm sure they later flopped; poor parent company - for a whopping $580 million.
Most consider Myspace as the first "real" social media platform, at least the first such site that's comparable to modern social networking platforms. While the history of these sites doesn't matter, the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube, and Instagram - among many others - serve its users with several extraordinarily helpful functions.
Those who regularly browse social platforms keep up with news in real-time, rather than having to read newspapers, listen to a radio, and watch television, all of which spread breaking news far slower than Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites; news spreads infinitely faster than wildfire in today's technological age, metaphorically speaking (but still, it spreads crazy fast). People with accounts can keep in touch with others from grade school, college, work, and work.
Speaking of work, employers commonly utilize social media to gauge the maturity and professionalism of applicants. Here are several best practices across the human resources and hiring functions of businesses across the United States of America for social media screening.
Be Mindful of the Applicant’s Relationships and How That Reflects on Their Online Presence
Keep a close watch over who interacts with applicants. If a boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other posts inappropriate content, be it revealing media of themselves or otherwise - really, anything inappropriate; even borderline inappropriate content - making drug and alcohol use public, or posting dirty jokes, be careful about hiring the applicant they tag in such posts. Even if such applicants operate a "clean" social media page, their associates speak wonders regarding who they actually are.
There are Right Ways and Wrong Ways to Conduct Social Media Background Checks
Whether your organization's social platform screening efforts have yielded success or misled managers on the potential of employees without fail, you should seriously consider seeking help from experienced professionals in the world of performing social media checks. Aim for some of the industry's top names, like Fama or RiskAware, as they are statistically more likely to make sense of applicants' digital presences, including those outside of modern social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
Take into Account How the Potential Employee will Reflect on Your Company
While it's difficult to control who likes one's pictures or posts, or even follows someone's page, the opposite is entirely in the account owner's control. Many professionals have two social media accounts for each platform they're members of. Some people like to follow accounts that post explicit content, are highly opinionated in regards to inappropriate views, and other accounts that share sentiments and pieces of media entirely inappropriate for the public eye. Following such accounts should always be done on accounts that are in no way, shape, or form linked to the professional behind that account.
If any applicants follow the above types of accounts, you should drop their name from contention for the job, no matter what. In the event applicants like or share content from adult film stars, accounts with extreme political views, or other inappropriate topics, take their names out of being considered for positions you're trying to fill.
Note: This is a guest blog from Fama