Should HR fret about a Candidate’s Behaviour on Social Media?
Today, it is a norm for HR professionals and talent acquisition experts to screen a candidate’s social media presence. In fact, social media for recruitment has turned out to be an integral aspect of recruitment strategies for HR these days. Hiring and recruitment professionals are increasingly turning up to social media to check if a candidate has ever defamed his/her previous employer or posted unethical pictures or whatsoever.
Now from an employer’s viewpoint, amassing extensive information about a potential candidate that goes beyond the conventional cover letter and resume makes total sense. And, social media offers honest and less-filtered info about a candidate’s persona and opinions.
But the question is, should HR be concerned about a social media post say three years ago of a potential candidate playing some beer pong drinking game? Even though social media screening is quite common today, recruitment and HR experts ought to practice this tactic with utmost caution.
If you decide to look up a potential candidate over social media, ensure to meet him/her first before doing so. This would curb the effect of any favouritism. For instance, the candidate might not have a firm grip on grammar when posting updates on his/her social media handle, which might give out a feeling that they cannot communicate effectively. Now if the same candidate comes up with some excellent writing samples, then he/she might be definitely capable for the job. It is quite common for us to have differences in identifying the character of a person on social media and in workplace.
- Legal hassles
Ensure that your company is well protected legally when screening candidates on social media platforms. You certainly cannot judge a candidate basis his/her ethnicity, religion, race, caste, etc. This is same for interviews as well, since you ought to have a defined protocol as what you can ask and what you can’t. Most importantly, make sure that all your interview questions and social media searches stay relevant to candidate’s willingness and ability to take up the said job.
- Angle with caution
No need to boast your angling knacks here! Although most of the employers do have the legal authority to monitor the online behaviour and presence of a potential employee, but they ought to execute it with utmost caution. It is quite easy for the entire process to turn into a fishing expedition wherein the employer is all out looking for reasons not to recruit a candidate.
Not recruiting a candidate simply because of his private behaviour on social media unrelated to work is not just unfair on the employee’s part, but could hurt the employer’s repute as well. In today’s competitive and cutthroat business ecosystem, it is the need of the hour for businesses to recruit as well as retain talented people. Now when an HR person rejects a top talent simply because of the candidate’s personal life over social media, the employer tends to lose too.
As businesses are rapidly embracing the entire concept of social media for recruitment, talent acquisition experts and HR professionals on the other hand, ought to be careful about how they practice this.
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