ITB 2024 Special Reporting
How To Identify Good Candidates When Social Recruiting.
By Sajjad Masud
Thursday, 31st January 2013
Social recruiting is making it easier than ever for recruiters and hiring managers to find and hire great candidates; considering companies are now using social media to fill 80 percent of all openings, social media recruitment tools are here to stay.

The social media profiles for talented job seekers now tell employers more than ever before about a candidate's personality, qualifications, and ambition. This added information assists in the ability to make better and faster hiring decisions. Once you have determined exactly what kind of candidate you need for your open positions, you can then evaluate profiles to make sure they fit the specifications you need.

Profiles can also help employers get a quick sense for the candidate's suitability for their open positions, based on what they choose to share and how they do it – keeping attention squarely focused where it really belongs – on the best and most well-matched talent. Since nearly half of employers have passed on candidates they thought demonstrated poor choice in sharing information online, incorporating these public sources of information into the evaluation process can add a whole new and important dimension to the recruiting due-diligence.

Different industries, companies, and positions will look for different attributes when scouting for the perfect employee. But here are some general things to keep an eye out for when trying to discover if the social media profile you are viewing belongs to your next superstar employee:

Look For: Industry Chatter
For many industries a top-notch candidate profile will contain plenty of industry-specific content for you to review. For example, this could be a blog maintained by the candidate on the challenges facing your industry, membership in a prestigious professional organization, or even being active in a professional group on LinkedIn.

While it's certainly not necessary for all candidates to have their own blog, having a well populated profile shows employers the candidate is really thinking about their career sector. If a candidate is dedicating their free time to keeping abreast of industry trends, this exhibits a dedication to your field. You can also use these posts and updates to judge a candidate's critical thinking and writing ability. For some positions, these will be essential skills for a great employee.

Most companies are looking for specialists instead of generalists to staff their organizations and meet challenges. If a candidate not only has the qualifications you need for the position, but also well-honed knowledge of your industry, they'll bring untold value as an employee.

Watch-out For: Controversial Subjects
All candidates will have their own opinions when it comes to the big topics of the day like religion, politics, and other social issues. After all, you are hiring a human being to work for your company, not a robot. However, strongly worded or controversial statements made on social media can certainly attract unnecessary attention and bring a lot of heat down on your company. As a result, your company may end up spending resources to rectify the situation.

There are numerous cases of workers being fired for posting inappropriate status updates on social media. Recently an x-ray technician was fired after garnering negative reactions to photos she took of breastfeeding military women. If a candidate is making controversial statements on their social media profiles and does not seem to draw a clear line between professional and personal comments, this could be a potential issue down the road.

As social media proliferates the society, boundaries between personal and professional are rapidly getting blurred. An understanding of the basic etiquettes of how, what and when to share are some of the key traits to look for. When the candidate's social media presence seems to show a lack of understanding of some basic ground rules, proceed with caution.

Look For: Professional Branding
Just as your company has set up a branded career page, good candidates make sure to brand themselves online. Top talent knows how to use their social media spaces to further the narrative they want to share about their candidacy. These savvy candidates who put thought and effort into developing a great employee brand are showing the untold value they can bring to your organization.

Watch-out For: Information Flooding
Is your candidate utilizing their social media profiles a bit too much? Social media is a great way to find out more about how a candidate thinks about pressing industry issues or how effectively they communicate with others. Most recruiters, however, do not care much about what a candidate ate for lunch or bought at the mall.

If a candidate is updating their Facebook or Twitter profile every few minutes, this information overload becomes a real negative. Savvy candidates know not everything is for general consumption and will hide part of their profiles from recruiters. This is good practice, and shows these candidates are concerned about their personal brand and understand how to maintain separation between personal content and what they want to share publicly. Candidates who flood cyberspace with every minute of their day show they lack a necessary professional filter.

Carefully assessing publicly shared social media activity and profiles of potential candidates can provide deep insights during the review process. After all, these profiles are the public face job seekers are willing to show your company, and the world. If this face is at odds with your company values or professional culture, finding it early in the process could save your company a lot of time and wasted resources.

What are some ways you identify great candidates based on social media profiles and how do you determine if they will be a good fit? Share in the comments!

About Sajjad Masud
Sajjad Masud is Co-founder & CEO of Simplicant, a cloud-based recruiting platform transforming the talent acquisition market and making enterprise-level recruiting technology accessible to companies of all sizes. Simplicant's collaborative platform includes social recruiting and redefined candidate relationship management to help organizations optimize their cost and time per hire.

This article was originally published on August 7, 2012 at http://blog.simplicant.com/how-to-identify-good-candidates-when-social-recruiting at Simplicant - www.simplicant.com
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