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Using Social Media As a Screening Tool for Candidate Selection

90+% Report Doing It

In a 2011 survey by Reppler, 300 professionals involved in hiring for their companies were asked about their use of social networks for screening and hiring. 91% reported using social networks for screening candidates; 76% using Facebook 53% Twitter and 48% LinkedIn. Additionally 47% reported the do the screening before the interview phase, 27% after the first conversation with the candidate and 15% further along in the interview process.

In 2012 Jobvite reported that over 90% of 1000 employers polled plan on using social to screen. Although, according to a 2012 survey on CareerBuilder only 37 percent of employers reported use social networking sites to research job candidates but another 11% said they plan to start.

69% Rejected a Candidate Because of What They Found

The reasons why they rejected candidates varied, but generally included information or insights they may not have been able to obtain through the normal interviewing process.


68%  Made a Hiring Decision Due to Candidate’s Social Media Presence

This does not mean they hired only because of what they saw on social networks, but very likely what they saw supported or reinforced or added information to support or confirm their hiring decision. If you review the reasons cited as information used in hiring decisions you will see that the information varied but often what was found supported candidate’s references, skills or qualifications. However, it is interesting to note that a profile showing creativity and one that made a positive impression about personality and organization fit were highly weighted by hiring managers.


The Challenge of Social Hiring In Canada

It is important to note that using information obtained through a social network to make a hiring decision is not a simple or straightforward issue. In Canada employers cannot screen potential hires through social media if the process will violate a person’s privacy rights or Canadian human rights laws. Canadian human rights laws prevent an employer from considering factors such as a person’s race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for which a pardon has been granted during the hiring process. Screening someone via their social media profiles may lead unintentionally to information that is protected under Canadian privacy and human rights laws.

Before you use social networks for screening clearly identify the content you are looking for and only consider that information in your screening and hiring decision. More on this topic will be presented in the coming weeks; Look for an article that will include tips for using social networks to screen candidates in Canada.


Social Media Can Be A Legal Minefield When Screening Job Applicants

Managing Your Online Image Across Social Networks

CareerBuilder Press Release

Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey Finds Over 90% of Employers Will Use Social Recruiting in 2012