Should employers use social media to screen job applicants?
Short answer: YES! Now, let’s dive into why. Although it feels like social media has been alive and well forever, in the grand scheme—it’s still relatively exploratory for some employers.
LinkedIn was only born in 2002, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2006. Yet, although these platforms (and others) have yet to reach middle age, multiple studies and research suggest the value in employers vetting potential candidates’ social media.
This isn’t a completely novel notion. How many times have you heard of job seekers—from part-timers to high-level executives—flopping opportunities because of an ill-fated Facebook post? Whether it’s a profanity-stricken LinkedIn rant or a bar-excursion-gone-bad photo on Instagram—one inappropriate post can blow a valuable opportunity.
At LifeBrand, our FCRA and EEOC compliant technology helps endless businesses of all shapes and sizes to screen social media platforms. Of the more than 100,000 audits performed by our unique AI software, an average of 32 posts are flagged (in need of clean up)! So … what is it exactly, that potential hires are posting?
And, as an employer, what do you need to know about vetting candidates? Furthermore, how do you ensure that once applicants become employees, that they remain aligned with the values and vision of your business?
70% of Employers Use Social Media to Screen Applicants, and so Should You
While some employers may be unsure about the merit of screening the social media of job candidates, a recent article on Inc.com cited 70% of employers are absolutely certain. Of employers surveyed by CareerBuilder, 54% said they decline a candidate based on social media content. The fruits from their social-media vetting yielded a number of discoveries. The most common social media findings included:
- Photos and videos that were inappropriate and/or provocative in nature
- Images and descriptions of drinking or drug use
- Comments inciting discrimination toward gender, religion, or race
- Posts highlighting negative experiences with previous employers
- Scenarios in which applicant information was contradictory (false qualifications)
- Communication riddled with spelling and/or grammar mistakes
- Evidence of criminal behavior
- Admittance of lying to previous employers (claiming false illness or situation to miss work)
- Screen names that were unprofessional
Despite the unfavorable repercussions revealed through scanning candidates, there’s an important silver-lining. Another recent article demonstrated that 37% of hiring managers found social media evaluations supported job-seeker qualifications.
In addition to cross-referencing applicant resume points, employer social media screenings have:
- Helped elevate a candidate’s professionalism
- Revealed additional beneficial qualities and skills of the job seeker
- Highlighted communication and creative abilities
And, there is yet another consideration of screening job applicants … missing social media presence. According to Business News Daily, close to half of the employers would skip a call back to a candidate if he/she has no social media footprint. No social media in the minds of many employers can mean something to hide.
Keeping Social Media Clean and Connected to Your Company’s Vision
For all the advantages of screening social media, what about the time it takes? And, it’s not only your applicants you should be screening. As an employer, it’s essential to ensure your applicant-turned-employee doesn’t compromise the integrity of your business with inappropriate social media engagement.
Vetting job seekers’ social media accounts can be tedious and time-consuming. At LifeBrand, our sophisticated AI social media algorithm solves both issues by scanning social media accounts for applicants and employees for you. Our services detect potentially harmful posts, providing recruiters, HR representatives, and executive acquisition companies to save precious time. We do all the heavy lifting, so you can focus on building your business and brand.
Schedule a FREE demo now!