It’s no secret that during the hiring process, employers will check a candidate’s social media presence to get a more detailed glimpse into their personality and how they want the world to perceive them.
In fact, according to a survey of hiring managers, 93% said that they will review a candidate’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) before making a decision on whether to offer them the job – with 55% reconsidering a candidate based on what they found.
While most social networks do have privacy settings, there is alarming number of people who either do not use them to their full potential or simply do not know they exist!
With this in mind, it’s important for recruiters to instruct candidates on the best practices for their social presence early in the recruitment process. Do their profiles give a good impression of them as a potential employee of that organisation?
What to avoid in social media profiles
The survey revealed that the following on a candidate’s social media accounts can all have an impact on an employer’s impression of them:
- References to drugs
- “Sexual-related” posts
- Racism or sexism
- Bad language
- References to guns
- References to alcohol
- Poor spelling and grammar
- Political affiliations
These can all damage a candidate’s success during the hiring process.
Tips for advising your candidates
There are many things that recruiters can suggest to their candidates to improve their social media presence, and leave employers with a lasting impression for all the right reasons:
- Make the candidate aware that their profiles may be checked by employers and encourage them to maximise their privacy settings. The default privacy settings of many social media sites are set relatively low. By changing their settings, your candidate will be able to closely control what people see on their profiles.
- Regardless of privacy settings, profile photos and banners are often still visible. Ensure that your candidate’s are set to something appropriate – a drunken selfie is not a great first impression!
- Ask your candidate to go through their profile and delete any questionable posts or tweets, just in case.
- Twitter – unless your profile is set to private, all of your tweets can be publicly viewed
- Instagram – all posts can be seen by the public unless you adjust your privacy settings
- Facebook – Use the privacy settings to edit who can see your posts. Also consider removing your profile from search engine results and limiting the audience for old posts to protect your posts from before Facebook upper their privacy settings
Asking your candidate about their social media accounts may seem a little intrusive, but making these small suggestions will ensure that a prospective employer will only see their professional skills, and could stop your candidate being rejected because of something seemingly innocuous in their private life.
If in doubt, ask yourself whether YOU would hire a candidate based on their social media profiles. If the answer is no, then advise them to make the necessary changes.
Infographic courtesy of Oscar-tech.com.