How to use social media checks in the hiring process

Using social media to find candidates with transparency

Despite its often superficial content, social media can be a great contextual tool for employers and key decision makers looking to hire new candidates. Social media can be used in the hiring process to give an employer greater scope when attracting, vetting, and finally, hiring candidates.

When you’ve found the right candidate, it’s important that you follow up diligently. Global Checks offers a thorough employee vetting service, that includes Social Media Checks.

Using social media to attract candidates

Even before candidates have begun submitting applications, social media can be used to find prospective employees. The highly interactive nature of social media platforms allows for creative and highly targeted job advertising.

There are several reasons why this is beneficial to employers. Social media job advertising can:

  • Find candidates not currently active on job boards or LinkedIn
  • Use highly targeted advertising campaigns based on interests, demographics, and location
  • Help to promote corporate culture in an interesting and engaging way
  • Employ the help of current employees to find like-minded candidates within their own networks

As well as being an economically feasible option compared to larger job searching platforms, social media has the added benefit of helping employers grow their own social media presence while they are advertising.

Using social media to consolidate applications

It’s easy to fudge a job application. That’s why Global Checks offers thorough vetting services for employees. The transparency of social media is an ideal tool to help uncover fraudulent claims in resumes, CVs, and portfolios, as well as other undesirable traits.

Here are several things to watch out for when using social media to vet a candidate:

  • Discrepancies between resume qualifications and real life qualifications
  • Sharing of intellectual property of previous employees without consent
  • Lying about absenteeism to get out of work
  • Discriminatory comments about race, religion, gender, and so on

Red flags should be immediately apparent to you, the employer or hiring manager. If you are using social media to follow up with a candidate after an application or interview, ask yourself “does their online presence support the image I want my company to be known for?”.

Using social media as a checklist

During the hiring phase, decision makers can develop a candidate checklist to be ratified with information found on social media. While some information on social media can be sensitive, it’s important to understand that if it visible, it is in the public domain.

The checklist is not limited to negative points, and could include items such as:

  • Involvement in charity work
  • Community engagement
  • Use of language and communication skills
  • Out-of-office interests and pursuits
  • Interactions with others
  • Sources and information provided by the candidate (especially on LinkedIn)

The checklist you design will depend on your organisation and the role being offered. It’s simply another lens through which to view a candidate outside of the traditional hiring process.

Understanding the rules

Social media often contains sensitive and protected information about candidates. This information is publicly offered, but some of it cannot be used to influence the hiring process. Australia has strict Anti-Descrimination laws that protect the rights of potential candidates, including in instances where employees use social media in the hiring process.

Candidates must not be discriminated against based on:

  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Gender identity
  • Sex
  • Intersex status
  • Sexual orientation

An ideal way to avoid any sort of discrimination, whether conscious or subconscious, is to meet a candidate in person before screening on social media. This will give you key insights into their personality and suitability for the role, which can later be reinforced with a social media background check.

Social media can be used as an excellent tool all throughout the hiring process. How you use it will largely depend on the candidate, the role on offer, and how your organisation functions. When used correctly, you can gain deep insights, both positive and negative, into the facets of a candidate, allowing you to form a well-rounded view of them as a person.

When it comes to vetting candidates on social media, Global Checks offers a comprehensive Social Media Check service. Our team can fully investigate a candidate’s life online, and can deliver a detailed report to you.