Regardless of whether the process of screening candidates is frowned upon or not, recruiters across the globe are adopting Facebook screening as a necessary step in their hiring strategy. This has become an unspoken rule in the recruitment industry as all job seekers are encouraged to maintain a professional image online. It has been reported at an estimated 45% of companies run an online screening of their potential candidates, with 29% using Facebook and 25% using LinkedIn.
Don’t Base your Hiring Decision on Facebook
As Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites in the world, it is likely that the candidate you are interviewing has a Facebook profile. By performing a basic search on candidates, recruiters are able to research some basic information about the candidate. However it is imperative that recruiters do not base their opinion or decision of hiring a potential candidate based on the findings of Facebook. This can be detrimental as well as illegal.
Likes and Interests
Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook is largely considered to be a purely social networking platform. It does not focus on the “professional” side of things therefore it is advised that recruiters do not give too much attention to the candidate’s likes, interests or hobbies. If you are interested to find out the candidates interests, it is recommended that you check their LinkedIn profile as it is likely to contain a professional overview of their career and job preferences.
Red Flags on Facebook
The primary purpose of the Facebook screening is to pick out any red flags on the potential employee – this can be anything from badmouthing previous employers to drug abuse. It is acceptable to screen the profile for information with regards to promiscuous behavior that could be damaging to the hiring company. Recruiters can take note of these issues and ask the candidate regarding these, however it is imperative that you do not base your decision of hiring or otherwise on the information you collect form Facebook.