Recruiting Blog

Social Media: A Tool To Better Screen Candidates

Despite the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting recently that unemployment rate had dropped by .3% to 7.8%, there are still a lot of candidates for every open position. This is the case because, in addition to the 12.1 million unemployed reported by the BLS, there are also 8.6 million who are involuntarily working part-time. Fortunately, the web offers a solution.

If you go to and click on #10 (below) you will see that my 10th Commandment of Recruiting recommends expanding your vetting process to include social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A very thorough investigation of these sites will often uncover past poor behavior including alcohol and drug abuse, aggressive tendencies, sexual assaults or cases of plagiarism. I don’t recommend using this information as a sole indicator, but when you have other suspicions then this can be another tool to see “the bigger picture” on someone.

One constraint is most companies lack the time, resources or inclination to vet every candidate’s social-media presence. With all the other information one needs to investigate, such as references and educational credential verification, this can be overwhelming. However, the cost of hiring the wrong person can be disastrous!

One tip to shorten this process is to Google candidates to learn more about a project they were involved with or because a red flag was raised in an interview, recommendation or somewhere else. Then if you do uncover some questionable practices, you can devote extra time to more thoroughly investigating that candidate using social media sites.

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