“Social Media is Changing the World and we’re all here witnessing It.” – Ian Somerhalder
A survey done by Career Builder in 2018 shows that 70% of employer use social networking sites to research potential candidates during the hiring process and more throughout their employment. In the meantime, more than 80% of job seekers will research an employer online before applying for a role. Interestingly, more than 50% of employers would not hire a candidate based on the content found on their social media. This demonstrate that social media screening although frowned upon is no longer a taboo and has become part of standard hiring process.
A due diligence conducted via the social media can be an effective way for employers to identify the real persona behind the polite façade. Company would be able to spot red flags or damaging information such as discriminatory comments and criticism of current employer or colleagues. This kind of background check is inexpensive and viable to all company. However, there’s more to social media screening than just checking out the candidate profile and going through their comments as it is a double edge sword.
It is important to take note that the due diligence process should be carried out even after employment of candidate. It would be good to have a social media policy in the employee handbook to prevent future mishap from being linked to the company. This is because public pressure can cost a company reputation to be at stake. This can be seen when Cisco Asean was urged by the netizen to fire one of its employee over a rude comment made about the Malaysian ex-Agong. The company was seen posting a statement on Facebook over the matter and had stated that the employee has been terminated. This however did not calm the tides as the company were further pushed to provide official response with all proper evidence of the employee termination or a protest would be held below the company office building.
Therefore, social media screening is an invaluable tool that can help a company screen and hire the right candidate. Below are a few tips to do it right.
- Take everything with a grain of salt.
- Stay consistent and save evidence of things that makes you questioned their suitability for the position.
- Search for red flags – discriminating comments, sensitive issues, etc.
- Keep an open mind
- Leave it until the very end of the hiring process.
- Never based your decision solely on social media screening
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