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Vetting Candidates through Social Media

By December 20, 2013 No Comments

OnRec, the Online Recruitment magazine, reported last month on the use of social media by HR managers and recruiters as part of their standard hiring practices.  According to a survey conducted by a leading job board in the oil and gas industry, 82 percent of hiring authorities polled have used social media sites to research candidates.

The findings indicated that 88 percent of companies use sites such as LinkedIn to recruit candidates, with right at one-third of employers preferring industry-based job boards.  Given the widespread use of social media – from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn – it’s clear why employers are depending increasingly on social media to find candidates.  Among the benefits to taking your candidate search to the social media sphere:

  • Better access to job seekers.  77 percent cited this as their primary reason for using social media in the recruitment process.
  • Ease of identifying applicants with a faulty filter or lack of good judgment.  A quick stroll through an applicant’s Facebook page can provide quick insight.  The survey indicated that 64 percent of employers have rejected an applicant after viewing his or her social media profile.
  • Cost effectiveness.  33 percent of respondents stated that they felt the use of social media was the cheapest way to find talent.

We must emphasize that while researching candidates’ public social media profiles is fair game, requesting access to their pages to circumvent privacy settings is not.  At no stage in the interview and hiring process is this acceptable.