Social Media Screening Can Benefit Both Job Seekers and Human Resources

Thanks to a recent study commissioned by CareerBuilder, there now exist firm numbers on the prevalence of a relatively new practice in human resources departments across the country: social media screening. According to the CareerBuilder study, 70% of companies in various industries all across the American private sector now factor in a potential hire’s social media profile in their hiring decision making process.

Social media screening can be described as the judicious and appropriate weighing of a potential hire’s social media presence for clues as to how well their interview performance and resume matches up with their online personas. This practice is showing no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, the study mentioned above indicates it is gaining momentum as companies search for any advantage they can get in a highly competitive recruitment and business environment.

This relatively new candidate vetting practice is growing in importance to many HR managers. Crucial for these HR personnel is to find out if a potential hire has both the talent and required competencies, but also whose personality and behavior will likely prove a good fit for their business’ culture.

The stakes of making good hiring decisions are high, as is illustrated in statistics that show the costs associated with hiring the wrong candidate. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, the average costs of a new hire that doesn’t work out can equal 30% of that hire’s entire first-year compensation.

Job seekers should remember a few important insights as uncovered by the CareerBuilder study. By far the largest single reason, at 61%, that hirers turned to social media when candidate vetting was to support their initial impression that a candidate was qualified for the job. Other reasons given by managers was to view what, if any, type of professional web presence they had, and to see what other people were perhaps saying about a candidate.

Job seekers need not fret about their online personas too much. They should take this new trend as the opportunity it is to establish a positive online presence wherever possible. Also, try to resist the temptation when chasing your dream job to delete any and all online information you were even marginally associated with. Managers reportedly actually think less of a candidate if they have no hint of an online presence.

Hiring a low to mid-level employee used to entail more of a leap of faith than it does today. Filling low to mid-level positions usually involves considering a host of younger applicants who necessarily have less in the way of job experience or achievements to tout.

Sophisticated hiring and recruitment tools, such as those offered by the business hiring solutions firm Fama, use advanced A.I.-based screening tools to fill in important information gaps about prospective new hires, especially younger candidates with less job experience.

Social media screening can provide the insights that many HR managers have traditionally struggled to attain. Though a candidate may appear clearly qualified and competent, the question usually stubbornly remained whether they would successfully integrate within the prevailing culture of a business. In short, hiring decision makers now have an effective tool at their fingertips to appropriately use social media to turn hiring, especially when it comes to younger candidates, from a leap of faith into more of a hop.

This is a guest blog from Fama.