Social media screening has become increasingly popular with companies. Traditionally, it’s used to find additional information about candidates beyond what is contained on their resumes including as a way to learn details that reflect a job seeker’s beliefs and personality.
While social media screening can be beneficial, the approach also comes with some drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of using social media screening to find your ideal candidate.
Pro: More Than a Resume
By design, a resume is a fairly short document, usually being limited to one or two pages. Even if the applicant provides a cover letter, you’re only getting a glimpse into their skills, abilities, and experiences.
Social media screening is a great tool for learning about a job seeker’s capabilities beyond what can be expressed in a resume. You may find blog posts that highlight their knowledge as well as their skill with the written word. Information about less applicable, though still potentially valuable, skills may also be readily available. Portfolios of past work may also be accessible through their social media pages.
By screening their social media accounts, you can learn a lot of helpful information about who a candidate is as a professional, giving you a better ideal if you want to continue considering them for the role.
Con: Protected Status Details
Most social media users reveal a significant amount of information on their profiles, including items that could associate them with a protected group. For example, a person’s picture may allow you to determine their national origin, race, gender, and approximate age. Posts or affiliation with certain groups may relate to a disability they have or religious preferences.
Even if you did not intend to find these details, using them in a hiring decision could be viewed as discrimination. This could lead to a lawsuit or other forms of legal trouble.
Pro: Spotting Red Flags Early
While perusing through an applicant’s social media profiles, you may discover behaviors or incidents that show the person might not be the ideal employee. Posts that include racist or sexist remarks should be considered a red flag. Images that show irresponsible behavior or messages that speak poorly of their current employer are also warning signs. Even poor writing skills may suggest you may want to move on to another candidate, especially if written communication is a substantial part of the job.
Con: Equal Opportunity Concerns
A large portion of the popular maintains social media accounts. However, not everyone takes part in social media, and some of the reasoning is both logical and justifiable. If a lack of active accounts or profiles leads you to discard a candidate, then the job seeker may be inclined to file a lawsuit over that decision.
If you do use social media screening, ensuring that those who don’t maintain a presence aren’t immediately cut from contention is a must. Otherwise, you might not only open yourself up to a lawsuit but could also miss out on a great candidate.
Ultimately, social media screening can be a powerful tool, but it needs to be managed wisely and should only be a small part of the larger process. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking candidates for your vacant positions, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our services can benefit you.