Social media profiles can tell you a lot about a job candidate.

Approximately 91% of recruiters use social networking sites to research and screen prospective employees.   Almost 7 out of 10 recruiters have reported finding something positive on a social media profile that caused them to hire the candidate, but over 2/3 of employers rejected candidates based on something found out about them online.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all being used to screen job applicants.  Generally Facebook and Twitter are used to get a more personal view of a candidate, while LinkedIn is used to gain professional information that may not be available on a résumé.

In today’s job market, social media is a large factor in companies’ search for top talent.  The costs inherent in the hiring process – not to mention the price of a bad hiring decision – are too great for employers, so almost half of them screen their candidates before their initial conversation with them.

So when you search within your candidate’s social media footprint, here are 4 things to look for:

Cultural fit – Reading through a social media profile can give you a sense of how a job candidate will fit in with your company’s established culture.  For example, if the candidate’s posts and profile indicate a love of running, and your company sponsors employee teams for local 5K races, that could indicate a good fit.

Professional Image & Qualifications – Yes, there is LinkedIn for professional networking, but how a job candidate represents him/herself on all social media profiles is important too.  This does not mean that a person’s Facebook profile should be career-driven. It means that if a candidate posts positive images/words that do not court controversy, they are showing good judgment and sound decision-making skills.  Both are highly sought-after intangible qualities.

References – Social media (especially LinkedIn) can be a great way to find additional references for job candidates. Do they have recommendations from past employers? Have their skillsets been endorsed?  These are all good clues to the caliber of the candidate.  Are they connected to someone you know? If so, search out this reference; he/she might be able to provide an additional perspective.

Red Flags – Even with all of the helpful positives, it’s always important to look for any red flags in a job candidate’s profile. Look for mentions of illegal drugs, controversial posts, inappropriate photos, profanity, discriminatory comments, negative comments about former employees, and fibs regarding degrees and education.  In addition, pay attention to spelling and bad grammar, which will give you a heads up as to the candidate’s communication skills.

If you are in need of a quality employee, contact the Job Store.  We are ready to use our years of experience to work for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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