RECRUITMENT / AUG. 05, 2013
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Uncover the Dirt on too Good to be True Candidates

The introduction of social networking sites to the e-recruitment industry is a blessing for employers and recruitment agencies. Not only do they now have the ability to find out information about candidates, but they can screen applicants, and even head hunt individuals they want to work for their company.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

Social networking sites, most notably LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, have propelled online recruitment into a new fast track lane. With one click of the mouse, recruiters can dig up information about potential employees that would be otherwise left out of the interview room! If you receive a ‘too good to be true’ CV, the best way to find out how true it really is, is to hunt the candidate down on social profiles. While their LinkedIn account may back up their CV, their Facebook or Twitter account may have conflicting information.

Sharing online can mean sharing with an employer

With so many individuals, employed and looking for work, using social networking sites as a means of reaching out to their friends and family by keeping them up to date with their latest activities, opinions and pictures, it has become extremely easy for recruiters to find out personal information about their interviewees. Candidates should know that by sharing their lives with the world, and by keeping their profiles accessible to the public, they are effectively putting themselves in a position of scrutiny by potential recruiters.

Why recruiters should use social media

The main benefit for recruiters is that while a CV gives an insight into the type of candidate an applicant is, their social networking profile gives a completely different take on the type of person they may be. Everyone knows that a well-written CV, tailored to the job, is what recruiters expect, and so this is usually what they receive. However, this does not necessarily mean the content of the CV is true.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com, a staggering 12% of 1,150 hiring managers questioned, revealed that they use social networking sites to screen candidates. This is testament to the fact that social media is one of the most favored methods for filtering job applications down to a minimum.

Oftentimes, recruiters will meet with candidates, who looked impressive on paper, and realize that in fact the candidate is nothing like what they expected, or hoped for. This is a time wasting event for both the candidate and the recruiter and can easily be avoided with the help of screening candidates via social networks.

Searching for the right ‘cultural fit’

Cultural fit and personality are considered very important to recruiters, particularly those in small, close knit businesses and large-scale corporations. It is usually very difficult to ascertain the type of personality a candidate has from their CV, but reviewing their social profiles can give you a clear indication of their character and cultural fit.

Testing candidates

Recruiters can also use social networking to test candidates at interview stage. They can quiz candidates on things they have learnt from the interviewee’s profile to find out how they react to certain questions. If you ask a question you know the answer to, and they lie and provide a different, more ‘interview worthy’ answer, you can immediately tell the kind of character that person has.   

Risks of social media screening

One thing to remember is to avoid taking social networking as a form of screening candidates too far. Recruiters must acknowledge that most social profiles are created in a candidate’s spare time, for the purpose of staying in touch with friends and family. Most people act completely differently when with friends and family, than they would when around work colleagues or in the office.

You cannot rely wholly on a person’s profile to determine whether they would be right for your business, instead it can give you an idea of how true a candidates CV is, and whether you think they’re personality would be a good fit for your organization.

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