The Importance of Social Media Screening When Hiring

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In the contemporary landscape of hiring, thorough evaluation of candidates is more important than ever for hiring managers. Among the array of screening tools available, one that has garnered prominence is social media screening – an approach that sheds light on a candidate’s character and conduct through digital social media platforms.

Social media screening can shed additional light on a candidate and can give you valuable information on their character. This process unveils insights into a candidate’s personal life, communication style, interests, and more, adding depth to the information gathered from formal CVs and interviews.

The Significance of Social Media Screening

Social media platforms, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter (now X) are more popular than ever. With that comes risk on the candidate’s side. What may seem like harmless content to them could affect their chances of landing a new role. In a survey by The Harris Poll, they found that 70% of all employers should use social media screening to research candidates. 88% of employers would also fire employees for certain undesirable social media content, which highlights the growing need for social media screening.

Unveiling Potential Concerns

Foremost, social media screening can unveil potential concerns that might not be evident in a CV or traditional interview. This could involve inappropriate behaviour, biased remarks, or other content that raises queries about a candidate’s suitability within your organisational ethos. Aligning the chosen candidate with your company’s values is crucial, and social media can offer a preview of this.

Authenticating Professional Credentials

While a CV outlines qualifications and accomplishments, social media often serves to validate these assertions. A LinkedIn profile might feature endorsements from peers or highlight project achievements, while a Twitter (now X) feed can reflect ongoing involvement in industry conversations and trends.

Assessing Personal Brand and Digital Reputation

A candidate’s online presence also functions as a gauge of their personal brand and their management of their professional reputation. Do they contribute positively to their field’s discussions? Are they viewed as a thought leader or a disruptive element? A meticulously curated online presence can signal a candidate’s professionalism and brand cultivation.

Assessing Communication Skills

Social media platforms offer a glimpse into a candidate’s communication skills, including their ability to express themselves clearly and professionally. Employers can evaluate how candidates engage with others, the tone and language they use, and their overall online etiquette.

Discerning Cultural Compatibility

Social media profiles provide a wealth of insights into a candidate’s interests, hobbies, and values, which can be valuable components for gauging their alignment with your organisation’s culture. This is particularly vital as cultural harmony can significantly impact an employee’s job contentment, allegiance, and long-term tenure within your company.

Social media screening is a valuable resource, its use must adhere to ethical and responsible practices. Here are key points to consider:

  • Consistency: Maintain uniformity in the screening process to avoid potential discrimination.
  • Respect for Privacy: Limit the assessment to publicly accessible information. Soliciting passwords or attempting to bypass privacy settings is prohibited.
  • Legal Considerations: Familiarise yourself with employment laws in your jurisdiction. Certain details from social media cannot legally influence hiring decisions, including attributes protected by law such as age, race, and religion.
  • Documenting Decisions: Maintain a record of any information discovered on social media that influenced a hiring choice. This ensures a rationale grounded in job relevance.

In the era of digital navigation, social media screening is rapidly becoming a staple in hiring procedures. The insights it offers about potential candidates are invaluable for making well-informed choices, minimising risks, and cultivating a harmonious work environment. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that social media screening is most effective as part of a comprehensive approach to hiring, complementing traditional methods rather than replacing them.

At Devonshire, we offer a wide range screening packages that can vet employees on your behalf. If you’d like to find out more about our screening options, please get in touch today to see how we can help you and your organisation.




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