Use Social Media Sites With Care

Employers can benefit from using social media sites, if they use them – carefully.  Professional, and even personal, online networking sites are popular places to search for employees and build qualified pools of candidates. However, as social media networking and recruiting grow in popularity, employers need to use social media sites with caution, especially as a means of background checking.

Are job references, provided by an employee on a social media site, an official company reference for purposes of background checking and employment? No. Should employers utilize social media job references? Maybe. It is very important for  employers to remember that social media references are an informal acknowledgement that somebody, somewhere out there, likes a candidate enough to say so. But, this does not constitute an employment reference.  The dilemma lies in differentiating a friend or colleague’s social media recommendations from references authorized by a company.

I recommend considering the similarity of online references with other data you’ve gathered about a potential employee. Social media references can provide interesting additions to your potential employee’s profile, but take them for what they are worth. Regard references in social media the same way you would consider personal recommendations from family and friends.

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Social Recruiting

Given all of the media hype about social networking lately, it would be easy to feel out of step if you weren’t actively trolling the profiles of candidates on social media outlets for your next staffing need.  However, recruiting exclusivley on these sites may not necessarily be the best strategy for every organization. The Internet isn’t connecting us as closely as we think it is.

The reality is that not all social networks make it easy to build relationships with people.  A person can appear to be a rock-star on-line, but that doesn’t tell  you if they are capable of engaging in a one-on-one conversation, making eye contact, having a good handshake or if they would be the right fit for a firm’s culture.

Social media, in all of its glory, is still in its early stages. The general candidate population simply doesn’t equate LinkedIn, for example, with “job search”, at least not yet.  Social networking is important, but it’s not always the most successful method for recruiting.

The best talent is often difficult to identify and not everyone is on a social network; there are still great people that cannot be found online.  Our teams do use Twitter, Facebook, Spoke, Jigsaw and other popular sites, but we also attend truly ‘social’ events.  This means we go to outings such as job fairs, conferences and community gatherings of networking gurus.  We meet people who refer people to us who would never go public with their job search.

So,  yes…we may tweet, update, link, connect, follow, blog, fan or whatever else can be done on these sites but that’s not how we spend most of our day.  Our talent lies in furnishing our clients with first-hand knowledge about candidates that help them make successful hires.  We do all of this so you don’t have to.