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Social media is very much a part of our society.  We use this platform to connect with our friends, share our viewpoints and expand our professional connections.  But, how is social media impacting the work place?  I have heard of an increasing number of employers reviewing social media profiles of perspective employees during the hiring process.  But, what exactly does that tell an employer?

Research shows that LinkedIn is the most used social media site when it comes to professional networking while most people have a profile on Facebook or Twitter for their personal life. Both employers and employees see a distinction between professional and personal media sites.

One of the questions that arise is whether a perspective employee’s profile on a personal social media site can be used when making a hiring decision. Perspective candidates feel their personal social media site should not be review during the hiring process while some employers feel this can provide valuable insight into the candidate.

Here are some tips to consider when evaluating your use of social media during your hiring process:

  • How does your company’s social media presence appear to prospective candidates?  Is the message clear and in line with the company culture?  Or is there a disconnect between who you  are and who you portray on social media?  Attracting strong candidates is augmented by a well-rounded social media presence.
  • Using social media sites can help attract both active and passive candidates.  A well-crafted job description on your social media pages may spur interest from highly qualified candidates, even if they are not currently searching for a job.
  • Be mindful of the decision to use personal social media sites to make hiring decisions.  This could potentially expose your company to discrimination charges.  If you decide not to hire a candidate based on information gathered from these sites, make sure to document why the decision was made.
  • Social media is not a substitute for a robust hiring process.  In the end, you need to have a methodology that will help you hire the best employees that will mesh with the company culture.