Screening Applicants Using Social Media: What You Need to Know

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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.

Competitive Partnerships Powering the Future of Business

Competitive Partnerships

I was at IBM Insight last week and as per usual it was an awarding experience. There is a shift going on in business and technology that I find both interesting and exciting. It is a shift that is about partnership over competition. Big name technology companies are partnering with new school app developers and tech startups to provide consumers with better products, experiences and customer service.

Courtesy of IBM.

Image courtesy of IBM.

 

You may be thinking: “How will this all be done?” The surge of cognitive technology is leading the way in allowing for better insights that allow for a better understanding of people. Cognitive technology allows us to get to the root of people’s behaviors, motivations, needs, and wants. The compilation of this information around these things allows companies to provide a personalized experience and resolution to some of the most pressing human issues.

For instance, we all know the dreaded unexpected breakdown of appliances. They are costly and unwelcomed. Whirlpool is focused on the connecting everything that is important to us through mobile-optimized appliances. This means that you could receive notification telling us that a part in our machines is going and have that information sent back to Whirlpool for troubleshooting.

Image courtesy of IBM.

Image courtesy of IBM.

Box is working with IBM’s Watson Analytics to synthesize the information you house in Box to provide real-time analytics for end users. I know it frustrates me to have unstructured information and data that is either hidden or lost in the systems I use. To be able, to have insights derived from the files you save with Box is a tremendous capability for individuals and business owners.

Courtesy of IBM.

Courtesy of IBM.

The Internet of Weather

How about all of these catastrophic weather events we’re experiencing? The Weather Company is  on the heels of being acquired by IBM for their Internet of Things division.  At the conference, they described an app that could be used during hurricanes not only for timely push notifications based on minute-to-minute news surrounding a weather event; but also the app has the ability to function as a flashlight and alarm to alert authorities to people who may be stranded during a catastrophic weather event.

Partnership > Competition

It is interesting to see the market moving in a direction where being competitive means partnering with a competitor to disrupt the market and provide a better product overall. Companies that you wouldn’t dream of seeing on the same billboard let alone working together realize that innovation in a vacuum is no innovation at all. The reality is: Customers want more. Whether it is quality of customer experience or a better product- very few companies are able to upkeep the supply of new, exciting and efficient products. In return, they are collaborating with other businesses or competitors to leverage their respective market strengths and technology to create new or increased value.

Why Should HR Practitioners Care?

With all these new ways of collaborating and doing business, HR needs to be looking at new and creative ways to deploy individuals and teams to get the work done. Additionally, it is a wake up call to all of us to remain aware of the changing business climate. We need to be aware of shifts in business and be prepared to pivot how we serve in our organizations. You can’t be a part of the conversation, if you don’t know what’s going on. It is equivalent to the moments in which a person comes in on the tail end of a conversation and arrives at an incorrect conclusion because they were otherwise occupied or absent from the majority of the conversation. We have a duty to become knowledgeable not only in the practice of Human Resources, but in business, market shifts, changes in customer behaviors and sentiments. It is near impossible to be a true partner to the C-Suite when you don’t know enough to craft a solution.

How do you see these competitive partnerships impacting what we do in HR?

Want more? Click here to watch the latest “Ask Czarina” episode. Subscribe to “The Aristocracy of HR” You Tube Channel to be notified when new episodes are published.

Are You Making Sensible HR Technology Choices?

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Technology is evolving rapidly. HR Technology is a subsection of this innovation, and is also evolving rapidly in its own right. In addition to rapid expansion, HR Technology appears to be lucrative as well. According to a 2014 Forbes Article by Josh Bersin, the HR Technology market is a $15 billion dollar market. With that kind of money backing this industry, there are endless options and opportunities for both for HR Tech companies and potential buyers.

With more and more leaders shifting their focus to talent management strategies, having the right technology working for you is an operational imperative. The trouble with having all of these choices and options at our fingertips is it is overwhelming. From experts to reports, whitepapers and admittedly bloggers like me- it can be confusing to digest all of the tips, tricks and advice that is out there.

The purchase of HR Technology is one of the larger investments we make in HR. In many organizations, the request to purchase technology is enough to make your CFO gasp and that is even with the proper justification backing the request. If you’re going to invest money in new technology to facilitate your operations; it would make sense to do your homework on the market to ensure you are making the right investment.

You may be thinking ” well that’s obvious, Janine”. My experience has taught me that companies are not as dedicated to a proper selection and implementation process as you may think. More often than not, the purchase of HR Technology is lead by good intentions, distorted by unrealistic expectations and compromised by flawed decisions. One of the things that drives me mad about organizations is: when they choose a provider based on market presence or some other arbitrary factor without holistically considering other important factors like: customer satisfaction, customer retention, their specific niche, and how the technology will improve or facilitate operations etc. Instead, they end up making the wrong decision or poorly implementing a good system, because they were unclear about their requirements. Additionally, they forget to spend a fair amount of time thinking about the inherent limitations and opportunities involved with the purchase.  The criteria I mention are just a few of the many things that should be considered when looking to purchase HR Technology.  As an HR practitioner and potential buyer, half your battle is understanding how important it is to give yourself and your team adequate time to evaluate your HR Technology of choice before purchasing.

Now for some help…

Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive the G2 Crowd Grid for Recruiting Software from my friends at Ultimate Software. While it should not be your sole data point for deciding what to choose- it is certainly a step in the right direction towards making sensible HR Technology purchases. Perusing this report, you will find scores for satisfaction, market presence, number of ratings etc. You can even compare HR Tech providers to see how they stack up when it comes to implementations, contract terms and pricing.

If you are in the market for a new ATS or other HR Technology-this report is worth reviewing. You may even be surprised to find out who is leading the HR Technology landscape at the moment- I know I was. I will hint that some of my favorite Recruiting Technology providers are finally receiving the kudos they deserve.

You can get a glimpse of the report below. The grid as pictured below shows how Recruiting Technology providers stack up when it comes to ‘satisfaction’.

 

For the a free, full report and the ability to run your own analysis of Recruiting Technology providers, click here.

Have an HR Technology Implementation question? Set up a 15 minute Talent Strategy call with me here.

 

Will HR Transform or Be Transformed?

 

Transform HR

Image courtesy of IBM Smarter Workforce

 

I love Human Resources.The idea that we are charged with an organizations most prized possession- its people- is no easy task. Everybody has their niche in HR. My role in the organizations I worked for were focused on process improvement and facilitating strategic transformation. In essence, I was often brought in as the person that would see the state of the companies processes and strategies and develop a plan for moving it forward. It is a skill and niche I continue to enjoy as I serve customers through my business.

As HR practitioners, we have enjoyed the luxury of working within siloed niches with very little gumption or energy to look up from our mounting work to see how much the workforce has changed. There are certainly progressive HR departments trying to increase their value and move in unison with the businesses they support. The problem is as a discipline we aren’t moving forward together in a way that will support our survival in the future. You have people on the left hating HR and counting the days to its demise. The ones on the right-who are happy living in Personnel World circa 1980; and then the ones in the middle that are following whatever the latest trend in HR is despite any applicability of the trend to their particular business.

There is so much potential collectively and separately for HR to transform the organizations they serve. It requires us to take a step back from what we think we know and examine the economic, societal and business-specific realities of the overall workforce. To continue down this road of doing HR for the sake of keeping the discipline alive is really to be an accessory to the inevitable death of HR. Business and technology are evolving quicker than we are as a discipline. This realization is not a reason to be defensive, but a memo to all of us that we need to either transform or be transformed.

Last week, IBM announced a partnership with SAP (yes, you read that right) that will allow them to deliver a consistent and streamlined customer experience via an offering of an integration between SAP’s SuccessFactors® Employee Central and IBM Kenexa’s cloud-based HR software Talent Acquisition Suite. This alliance is an effort that will allow IBM customers to move to the cloud; while also reaping the benefits of ongoing support and services from these two tech giants. IBM and SAP are competitors. Each of these companies could have continued in privacy creating and deploying products independent of one another. What I get from this partnership is: they have realized that offering a better product to consumers is far more important than anything they could do separately. Will it be lucrative? Only time, will tell. The point is they looked at the market and they are transforming rather than being transformed.

Everything in life and business travels in cycles. There are times for rebuilding,  stagnation, and transformation. We are in an age of evolution and transformation and it is exciting. What can you be doing as an HR practitioner to raise the bar in your own organization?

Stop. Don’t answer that question now, but please accept my invite to IBM Smarter Workforce’s #SWFChat where I will have the pleasure of co-hosting a chat with Denise Holt of Grateez, Inc. about the Transforming HR and the evolution of Talent Management.

You can join us on Crowdchat by following this link: https://www.crowdchat.net/swfchat. I hope to see you there.

For the complete press release on the IBM SAP alliance, please click here. Also, follow the hashtag #IBMSAP on Twitter for more insights from the New Way To Work and IBM communities.

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