Hiring? Dig deep in an applicant’s online presence

Some advice from a healthcare recruiter: dig deep about an applicant’s online presence before making a hiring decision.

Never before in the history of business is so much information available to hiring employers before making a hiring decision.

We live in a time when most people share personal things online.

Social media can offer a treasure trove of information on just about anyone. Even an employer does not use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, You Tube, Instagram, Twitter etc., one can at least get a glipse behind the resume by doing a little snooping online.

Receiving a good resume from a well-qualified applicant without checking the applicant out online can save many headaches.

Every hire is risky both financially and in company morale. Checking out a potential new hire by doing deep online research can mitigate a poor hiring decision. Consider the following:

  • Check out a prospective applicant’s LinkedIn profile. A bad LinkedIn profile is a red flag. Does the profile match the person’s resume?. Make no bones about it, employers are using (and should be using LinkedIn) to pre-screen a prospective applicant. In addition, employers are looking at an applicant’s picture. To be candid, a LinkedIn profile is a resume with a photo.  Advice to anyone on LinkedIn: make sure your picture is a professional “head shot” and not some casual selfie picture taken while driving your car.
  • Someone’s Facebook page can be almost be a first interview; if you don’t like a person on Facebook, you probably won’t like working with them. Though many profiles are restricted to what the general public can see, there is still a ton of information to decide if an applicant may be a good hiring fit.
  • Google is completely invasive to our privacy, but business is business.  Google every aspiring new hire and find out everything available.

Checking on someone’s social networking activity is about learning as much about the character and makeup of the applicant as possible. Consider this: to whom a candidate responds to and agrees with online, can be just as revealing as personal updates and comments.

Another huge reason to thoroughly vet someone online: there are certain questions employers aren’t allowed to ask during interviews, especially if they’re of a personal nature. A social media search offers a glimpse into a candidate’s life. A digital footprint can reveal whether or not a candidate’s personal beliefs could clash with a company’s message or harm a reputation.

In conclusion, conducting deep online research is critical to making good hiring decisions.  Social media is a terrific tool in for employers.

A warning to applicants: be conscious of the long term effects of items you’re posting or agreeing with online. Social media is a virtual version of you – make sure that it is an accurate, appropriate representation.

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Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm.   In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels.

P: 1 310 247-8900  or email at ceo@premiersearch.com.