Social Media, Job Candidates, and Respect

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Using social media to research job candidates has become common practice for hiring managers and recruiters. However, there is a certain level of respect and professionalism that must be maintained so that you don’t cross the line. Let’s take a look at a few tips.

  • Maintain a uniform procedure. If you’re going to check the social media of one candidate, you must check the social media accounts of all candidates. You don’t want to single out certain candidates for “special” treatment in your recruitment process. Create a policy that’s clear on how social media information is used and what type of information you’re looking for with each candidate.
  • Don’t friend them. There are public facing social media accounts which you are free to peruse and then there are private social media accounts which aren’t meant to be public. In an era where more people share their personal and political thoughts online, many professionals are doing so behind virtually locked gates. Don’t insist on entry into a job candidate’s private spaces by sending a friend request.
  • Maintain confidentiality. If you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn and notice that you and a job candidate has a mutual connection, do not ask that mutual contact about the job candidate. Doing so breaks confidentiality by letting the mutual contact know that the candidate has applied for a new job, and it’s also unprofessional. Stick to checking the references the candidate has provided to you.

When checking a candidate’s social media postings be sure to respect their confidentiality, privacy, and maintain a high level of professionalism at all times.

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