Most workers are aware that their employers routinely check their social media profiles and have probably heard of a few news reports where certain social media activities have led to termination. But many may be surprised to know how organizations and HR managers utilize social media during the hiring process and how it’s become an effective tool for implementing traditional ideas.
Organizations are casting wider nets
Many applicant tracking programs have integrated social media as part of their recruitment process in which open positions are not only uploaded on the software’s portal but shared though various social media sites, including blogs and other online communities, allowing others to re-post and forward job opportunities. Most of these types of software can also encourage and track referrals from existing employees of a company through their social and professional connections. With over 60 percent of adults actively using social media, this gives companies greater access to a larger talent pool of qualified candidates.
It’s who you know”¦online
While most employers still expect to see a resume or CV, they are spending less time checking your references and more time looking at your online presence. Having accounts with social media like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook increase your visibility dramatically since, according to JobJuice.com, nearly 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn as well as about 42% and 33% use Twitter and Facebook respectively to seek out job candidates. Twenty-eight percent of social media users with 150 or more professional online contacts found jobs through this avenue.
It’s getting personal
While employers are checking to see who you know they are also screening personal profiles and activity to gain insight into personality and predict compatibility with the organization’s culture. Online, the distinction between personal and professional is almost nonexistent. This is presenting a challenge for job hunters to not only package themselves to potential employers but to be constantly aware of the overall image they’re projecting on the internet.
Conversely, companies using social media to weed out job candidates could potentially be putting themselves in a bit of a legal conundrum. Many are taking advantage of third party employment screening services to do their social media dirty work and are presented with reports that have “protected class” information omitted.
They are coming for you
Individuals aren’t the only ones concerned with their online reputation. Companies are using social media to build their brand and passively recruit potential candidates by positioning themselves as an attractive place to work. Social media tools like Facebook Brand Pages can allow companies to foster a sense of community and message prospective employees directly.
How have you seen employers and employees leverage social media to find the right candidate or help you land that dream job?
About The Guest Author: Jeremy Sherman is a freelance writer with LexisNexis Risk Management Solutions. LexisNexis provides background checks and employment verification to both businesses and individuals.
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