Screening Applicants Using Social Media: What You Need to Know

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Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Almost everyone uses social media, but should you use it in your recruitment process? Many recruiters are turning to social media to help solicit applications so it makes sense that those same individuals would then use social media to screen those applicants.

In a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, 2,380 hiring and human resource managers were polled regarding their usage of social media in screening applicants. Of those polled, 70% used social media to screen candidates before hiring them, a percentage significantly higher than in years past.

However, since the laws and regulations surrounding social media and the workplace are still evolving and being established on a case by case basis, it can be risky when using those outlets for employment screening.

When using social media to screen applicants, make sure to adhere to a process. You will want to continue to adhere to employment legislation and avoid bias. To help you as you go through this process, read the following tips to help you avoid any legal risks.

Know the Legislation

Using social media to screen candidates can be tricky since using certain information (race, gender, approximate age, ethnicity, religion, etc.) gathered from those sites could lead to discrimination in the hiring process, which is against the law.

To avoid discrimination through social media, make sure you know the laws for equal opportunity employment. Having a solid grasp of these laws can help you avoid any missteps. If you have still have questions, consult an attorney that is well versed in employment law.

For a list of state legislation regarding social media usage, check out this list compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Establish a Consistent Process

To avoid bias and discrimination, establish a protocol for social media screening. For example, screen all potential candidates at the same time and in the same way in the recruiting process (i.e. after their first in-person interview, checking Facebook and LinkedIn). Evaluating candidates at the same time in the process and via the same social media outlets helps keep the evaluation fair.

You can also take it a step further and assign someone unrelated to the position to screen candidates. Having someone who is not associated with the role or hiring decisions can keep bias at a minimum.

Document Efforts

Keeping a record of your searches can help if any questions arise concerning your use of social media employment screening. This is particularly helpful if you find something that makes you eliminate a candidate due to their social media presence like unprofessionalism, bigotry, etc. Print or save a screenshot of the questionable content to have on file should legalities ensue.

The Takeaway

Ideally, a candidate’s social media presence will simply reinforce their resume. However, as evidenced by recent events, employees’ social media presence can be very different than what they present in an interview or at the workplace. Screening applicants via social media can be helpful in finding a candidate that is the right fit for your company and the position for which they applied as long as you continue to follow employment regulations.

Head Shot (538x800) Rachel Stones

Author Bio

Rachel writes on a variety of HR related topics for Built for Teams an HR Software Solutions Provider for Mid-Size businesses. Built for Teams is brought to you by the developers at Objective Inc.

The Romper Room of Leadership

romper-room-leadership

Are we still at a point where leaders are unable to provide their employees with constructive feedback regarding their performance?

I’ve recently been made aware of several situations where there are clear deficits in performance from a team perspective in companies. In most instances, everyone on the team knows who is and isn’t pulling their weight and that includes the leaders.

You would think that this should be a slam-dunk scenario whereby the supervisor and/or leader – actively deals with the team members who are slacking off via performance discussions etc. I’m finding that this is not the case. Instead, leaders are opting to have general and redundant conversations with entire teams as an attempt to appear fair in how they delve out criticism.

I would argue that this approach is having the opposite effect. The impact of this approach is employees that are performing at and above expectations are unfairly being subjected to criticism that isn’t a reflection of their individual performance. Having to endure this criticism as a whole rather than individual performance being addressed makes employees feel as though they are working in a “romper-room” environment causing them to not only reject any pertinent criticism that follows; but also creates resentment among team members.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say I am a recruiter on a team of five recruiters for a manufacturing company. We all handle “easy-to-fill” positions, but requisition volume is high as is turnover organization-wide so we are in a constant state of active recruitment. There is an established number of hires each recruiter is required to upkeep on a monthly basis in order to ensure the plant has enough workers to absorb new work coming in via new contracts. In this scenario, the magic number is 30 new hires per recruiter. Three of the recruiters including myself meet and/or exceed the expected number of hires. The other two recruiters consistently hire between 15-18 people and claim they cannot possibly meet the established quota.

The three performers along with the leaders are aware that these two are the weakest links on the team and also recognize that their inability to meet the established number of hires has to do with a mix of poor work habits, slacking and a lack of urgency where they are concerned.

There are a few options in handling this situation:

  1. Continue treating the whole indifferently because parts of the team are not working in an optimal manner by imposing daily monitors of work completed on the entire team as well as threats of disciplinary actions.
  2. Have a performance discussion with the two recruiters who aren’t meeting the standard – while highlighting how they may work more efficiently. Additionally, recognize the recruiters who are consistently performing so they are aware that their efforts are appreciated and being seen.

Number #2 would be the most optimal solution to dealing with this situation. This scenario reminds me of grade school when there would be a student who misbehaved consistently during class. Teachers that had the better sense knew that it was far better to remove unwieldly students from the classroom in an effort of not robbing the other attentive students of quality instruction time.

The same is true here. It isn’t fair to your employees who are doing the right thing to be subject to rules, disciplinary actions or indifferent leadership because you refuse to deal with their co-workers’ performance issues .

Communicate, document, and/or cut ties with employees that aren’t meeting performance standards, if you need to. Just know that no grown adult wants to be treated like they are back in preschool, because you are incapable of addressing performance concerns head-on.

Engaging your company alumni beyond the resignation

Engaging Your Company Alumni Beyond the Resignation

A study released in the Employee Engagement Series developed by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and WorkplaceTrends.com, states that the boomerang employee is being reevaluated by employers. To be clear, boomerang employees are the alumni of your organization. They are people who worked for you at some point, that would rejoin your company at a later date. It is reported in this study that 76% of employers are more accepting of hiring former employees now than in the past.

While it is admirable and even interesting that company alumni are being seen in a different light all of the sudden, we need to examine the underlying factors to understand why this trend may be emerging and has longevity.

Employers like it easy…

Considering a former employee for rehire is fairly easy. Sure, they could have picked up some bad habits elsewhere, but they are a known entity. There is a familiarity that puts both the employee and employer at ease. Training is more of a refresher than actual training. Assimilation into the the company ecosystem is fairly seamless as both parties have a sense of what makes the other tic.

The trouble with all of this “ease” is most employers have nothing in place to either keep tabs on alumni or to even rehire them without any hiccups. To effectively keep in contact with former employees, companies would actually have to change how they view voluntary terminations/resignations. Regardless of how well people perform on the job, there is often a stigma left behind when a resignation is tendered. Some companies see it as an affront when an employee leaves their company. Bad feelings, a lack of interest in knowing what motivated the resignation and poor system tracking- usually impede most companies ability to adequately follow the alumni footprint.

Got a Corporate Alumni Network?

Companies like Deloitte, IBM , KPMG and Microsoft have them. Beyond the hurt feelings and resentment often felt when employees move on, corporate alumni networks allow you to keep in touch with your former employees, so as to not have them stray too far from your grasps. It also creates a secondary pool talent pool that can act as a direct and/or indirect talent pipeline for your company.

You may be thinking you need to manage another talent community like you need another form to fill out. However, there are significant benefits to creating these networks- so long as you have the resources to manage them effectively.

Here are some of advantages to having a corporate alumni network:

1) Continued rapport and connection with former employees.

2) The ability to disseminate hiring opportunities to a network of people you already know and who understand what makes for a successful hire in your organization.

3) Creating a proprietary place for former employees to connect, share ideas and rally around your company.

From a systems, tracking and incentive perspective, there are some things we need to get right before we can even tackle a network. Watch this week’s Ask Czarina below for tips on properly tracking and incentivizing alumni/boomerang hires.

 

 

 

Five Hiring Crimes Your Talent Acquisition Team Is Committing

Courtesy of Unsplash.com

Courtesy of Unsplash.com

I’ve been talking a lot about where HR is headed this year, which is important so we can prepare ourselves appropriately. However, what about now? What can we fix right now? It has occurred to me that there are some basic precepts in Talent Acquisition (TA) that practitioners are not tending to. This advice emanates from conversations I have had with several jobseekers about their hiring experiences of late. If you are doing committing any of these hiring crimes, please fix it immediately.

  • Asking the candidate for information in bits and pieces. Every company has necessary information they need in order to make a formal offer. In case you were unaware, candidates are as busy as you are. They don’t have time to be going back and forth with you about what you need. Create a checklist or some sort of system for the jobs you hire for to ensure you account for all of the items you need to collect from a prospective hire. To commit this crime is to annoy your candidate and to give the impression that your company works haphazard manner.
  • Not allowing your new hires to give adequate notice. If the candidate has to wait several weeks to get through your pre-hire process, you can wait the two to three weeks they need to give their current employer adequate notice of their departure. If you expect it from your people, you should expect others need to do the same for the companies they are employed by as well.
  • Telling prospective hires to give notice before you have fully vetted them. No one has time to be putting in notice with their current employer prior to you vetting them or officially offering them a position- only to be told the position is no longer being offered to them. This is a crime, because you never know what can come up during your pre-offer process to prevent you from hiring them. Will you help them find a new job if it turns out you can’t hire them? Probably not. It is never advisable to say anything to a current employer, until a prospective hire is fully vetted and given an official offer letter. Make sure your TA people aren’t telling candidates to do this.
  • Ridiculously long applications. When’s the last time you looked at your application? Do you really need to know things like: when a person was divorced or where a deceased family member lived? These examples are just a few of the growing list of ridiculous questions asked on applications. Unless you are a federal, state or civil service agency, you should not have a 50 page application. Even within those agencies, there are often times redundancies in terms of information they solicit during the hiring process. Some advice, take a look at your application and gather only the information you absolutely need to make both a legal and practical hire.
  • Requiring candidates to incur costs in advance of their employment. A candidate I know was recently asked to send passport photos to her prospective employer (which was previously made available to the employer and lost.) The loss of the photos caused this person to have to purchase a new set of photos and pay for overnight delivery to a state agency. This was a burdensome cost for the candidate. My advice to employers is: you require it, you pay for it. Many candidates are in tough financial spots and cannot afford to pay a dollar more than what it may cost them to get to the interview and back. Do your best to eliminate economic and financial hurdles for them to overcome while trying to become employed by your company.

These are just a few instances in which the actions of your Talent Acquisition staff could be undermining your hiring efforts. I provide this advice not to point the finger, but to shed light on an area where we need to do better as a discipline. When I worked as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, my focus was to put the right people to work as quickly as possible. As a TA Specialist or Recruiter, you have to be dedicated to making every step in the hiring process as painless as possible. You make it so by letting people know what they can expect and removing unnecessary hurdles from their path to becoming an employee.

For more insights on this topic, click here to hop over to “The Aristocracy of HR” You Tube Channel.

Talent Acquisition Professionals Need Career Love Too!

 

I love my job

As someone who worked in Talent Acquisition for most of her career, I was the person responsible for ensuring the continued progression of thousands of people’s careers. I made offers that meant people could feed their families and others that catapulted people to the executive suite, I negotiated great packages and sometimes had to sell the not-so-attractive offers. I was an agent of opportunity always on the hunt for the best person that met the company’s needs. With all of this workforce good I was doing, it occurred to me that many of my colleagues and I were often closing better career deals for the people we served than for ourselves.

If you have worked in Talent Acquisition you know it is not an easy job. As a function we are responsible for making sure that every department is adequately staffed. From the Janitor to the CFO, we are charged with keeping the halls filled with talent with little to no disruption to the business. In my experience, I have had varying requisition loads. I have handled as little as 6 reqs at anytime and upwards of 175 when I worked for someone who was blatantly trying to drown me- but I digress. My point is this job isn’t for the faint of heart and yet there is often a lack of  interest and focus in creating a career path for the very same professionals who dedicate themselves to doing it for others.

If you’re a TA Specialist or Internal Recruiter in a company, where do you go next? The path isn’t always clear or it doesn’t exist. In some organizations, TA Specialists move to TA Leads or Senior TA Specialists and eventually to TA Manager if they shake the right hands- but where else can their skills be utilized? It has been the great paradox of my existence in TA to realize my opportunities were non-existent while remaining excited about the opportunities and salary increases I was able to offer others.

A breakthrough…

Alas, I have met someone who understands the need to develop her Talent Acquisition team. Last week while attending the Take The Interview Talent Acquisition Summit/#truNewYork, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a track led by Ali Wong of NBC Universal. She heads up the Talent Acquisition function there and is changing the game for the Talent Acquisition professionals on her team. During her track, she spoke about how she is helping her team get out of the rut of just filling requisitions and on to thinking about how they personally want to impact the business. She’s not telling her team, “sorry, there is no career path” or “we’d love to see you in leadership, but…”. She is insisting that ever recruiter, sourcer, and coordinator have a clear understanding of how they impact the business; while allowing them to constantly learn, develop and be exposed to the people that can advocate for their career progression.

At NBC Universal, Recruiters are responsible for the mentorship and career progression of the sourcers and coordinators who support them. I have always been perplexed by organizations that went as far to create these talent acquisition teams composed of a recruiter, sourcer and coordinator only to remove the recruiter from having any input into the development and performance management  for the roles that support them daily. Frankly, it’s a missed opportunity for the sourcers and coordinators to be mentored by someone in the role they will eventually have and it robs the recruiter of key leadership experience that will be needed as they progress up the ranks.

Back to Ali, she holds her team accountable for results and business impact. None of the ridiculous rumination about time-to-fill and other baseline headaches. She has a clear standard and that is to produce what the internal customers need and she will develop you so you can move on to do the things you want to do in the company, Conversely, if you cannot work up to her standard or find that the job is not what you wanted-she encourages you to move to another area of the company where your talents would be better served.

Changing the game…

If you can’t tell, I am more than impressed with the way she leads her team. Her leadership is not one to admire superficially, but it is backed by results. Her team consistently meets and exceeds their targets. They are “game changers” as she calls them.

Anyone can hire recruiters or a TA team and deploy them to frantically fill all of the positions in a company. However, it takes time, thought and effort to build and deploy a team that love what they do, produce and make an impact. Oh and by the way, she doesn’t care where the work gets done as long as it gets done- a nod and a wink for telework. TA Specialists, Recruiters, Sourcers, Coordinators, TA Assistants need career love too. If you are going to hold them responsible for bringing in the talent you are going to have to invest in them as well. Moreover, ensure that they are lead by someone who understands the value and importance of their work- who also relentlessly pushes them to find their passion. That passion will not only make them happier in their work, but it will come through when prospective candidates meet with these people to size up your company.

I was also reminded by colleagues at the summit that the recruitment and/or talent acquisition function will cease to exist in the next 10 years, so while we still have it-let’s show a little career love to the guys and gals in the trenches making it happen one job at a time.

“I am Revolutionizing HR”- Social Data and The Entelo Advantage

 

 

 

 

 

Only in the last few years has the amount of social data begun to scale, allowing data-driven individuals to begin to search for hiring trends. Within this social data, there are strong indicators of when a top performer is about to “come to market,” or pursue their next career opportunity. As a result, it’ll be the job of tomorrow’s recruiter to figure out how to leverage big data and predictive analytics to find the right candidates when they aren’t yet actively looking.

 

The majority of recruiters lack the time to gather all public data on each of these professionals. They lack the ability to run multivariate regressions needed to identify the one in 200,000 professionals who are both qualified for and open to a new opportunity. These recruiters will need a tool to do these things for them. Until now, no one’s done a good job of building one.

 

That’s why we’ve built Entelo. It takes the average recruiter a half-hour to manually collect all available information on just one candidate. Entelo does all this work for you, providing the most comprehensive view of talent available and saving you from hours of research. Entelo Search includes rich profiles of over 30 million candidates, each filled with data from social sites such as Github, Dribbble, Quora, Twitter, and more.

 

Entelo also uses this wealth of data to help recruiters identify those candidates who are about to change jobs, using our first-of-its-kind More Likely To Move™ filter. Our proprietary algorithm analyzes over 70 variables indicative of upcoming career changes to tell you the right candidate to speak with at the right time. We track everything from layoff announcements and M&A activity to length of time at current company and social profile activity. When a candidate is flagged as More Likely To Move™, they have a 30% likelihood of changing jobs in the next 90 days.

 

We feel we’ve only scratched the surface of what this data can do to help HR professionals build great teams. We launched Entelo Diversity in April, which helps you find candidates whose social profiles indicate a high probability of meeting specific gender, race or military experience requirements. It’s our hope that this latest element of our algorithm will help companies of all sizes reap the benefits of building strong, diverse teams. Studies show that a more diverse workforce is more creative, more productive and less likely to turn over.

 

We’d love to show you and your organization how Entelo can help you hit your hiring goals and build a great team. For your free demo of the Entelo platform, visit www.entelo.com/demo.

 

Author Biography

Kyle Paice runs the Entelo Marketing Team. Previously, he was the Head of Marketing for RentJuice, a real estate software company that was acquired by Zillow. Before RentJuice, Kyle built inbound marketing software as a Product Manager at HubSpot, and consulted to investment banks and other financial services institutions with Deloitte. He has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Boston College.

 

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