Six Strategies for Cyber-Screening Prospective Employees
These days the entire hiring process is conducted online. To make the most of the process, you’ll have to make sure they’re a right fit for the job and your company’s environment. You’ll want to know you’re getting someone who meshes with the ideals of the rest of the team.
A regular background check can find out all kinds of information but the person they really are may only come out through social media. While looking at these spaces isn’t an attractive option, this may be the only way to get to know this person without physically meeting them first.
Here are a few strategies that may be helpful:
1. Only Human Resources Should Snoop
Our personal lives are on social media, including what we do for fun, the people we hang out with and even our political standings. Things like race, disabilities and other information will inevitably crop up. What you as an employer don’t want is for other employees to decide who should be hired based on shallow reasoning. If the person does get hired, their supervisor shouldn’t have make any judgment on their character before they even start.
Do: Only allow HR to take a look at the social media findings. Make hiring decisions based on character and behaviour rather than loose judgments.
Don’t: Don’t hand out personal information to other employees. Make sure supervisors aren’t allowed to judge new hires based on social media information.
2. Create Guidelines for Background Screening
If your business isn’t handling the screening process, then you’ll want some firm guidelines set with the company you’ve hired. Companies like Social Intelligence exist to professionally find information on public social media sites and report their findings back to their client. You have to tell them what you do and don’t want to know so they can properly filter information.
Do: Ask the hired firm to let you know about an individual’s hobbies, attitude and general internet behaviour. If they have an online portfolio or professional presence online, ask to see these sites.
Don’t: Make sure the firm doesn’t give you any personal, medical or financial information. Never ask the individual for their social media passwords to view their private content.
3. Look for Outliers
You’re looking at their social media purely because you can’t meet them in person and want a read on their character. Things like going out with friends on Saturday night should never be a deal breaker for a job. You’re looking for strong, substantial information. If the individual has poor online etiquette, seems aggressive or lies frequently, then they aren’t a good fit for the company. However, if they participate in the community or do volunteer work, they may be what you’re looking for.
Do: Check around for more recent information. Only look at what’s publicly available. Make determinations based on big things rather than little ones.
Don’t: Prevent yourself from making judgments because they enjoy something you disagree with. If you find nothing substantial, remember this isn’t a bad thing.
4. Ask About Skills
Before starting your social media investigation, you’ll want to make sure the candidate is worth the hassle. Sending a follow-up questionnaire can wade through the pool for you. Make sure the candidate knows what the job is and that they have the required skills to perform the task. Only then should you move on to the next steps.
Do: Ask how many years of professional experience they have. Ask about proficiency in particular skills.
Don’t: Be sure not to go into too much detail. Don’t ask about topics that have little relevance to the position. Don’t set your standards so high as to not get any candidates.
5. Don’t Focus Solely on Full-Time Employees
A big mistake of some businesses is only going through the screening process when the candidate is after a full-time position. Screening is not just for personality checks but to make sure your company’s security remains intact.
Contract employees, freelancers and even interns should go through the screening process. Checking on temporary employees is starting to become a trend, now up forty-five percent since 2012 with eighty-six perfect of employers screening more than full-time workers.
Do: Check every employee working for your company. Be sure to have a set of guidelines to follow for them as well.
Don’t: Don’t bother being as strict with these screening as you would with full-time positions. Don’t try to find out how flexible they can be since they’re only being hired to do a single job.
6. Screen Volunteers
Despite the fact you aren’t paying volunteers, you should still seriously consider screening them. After all, you want them to be able to do the job, work well with the group and not pose a risk to your business’ security.
Volunteers are typically young and over ninety percent of Instagram users are under thirty-five, while the majority of Facebook users are between twenty-five and thirty-two. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting various demographics screened using these online resources.
Do: Check through their social media profiles for recent information and other volunteer work. If they don’t have anything, this isn’t a bad sign.
Don’t: Don’t put too much stock into what they do for fun, political opinions or other information.
Make the Most of Hiring
The internet has become the double-edged sword of hiring. While you don’t often meet your candidates in person and handle things the old-fashioned way, you do get a much larger range of candidates from all over the globe and can see into their character like never before thanks to social media.
There is a line to be drawn about the content you’re looking at and how to make those judgments, though. A job is a serious thing to lose, so you have to consider the individual and the company at the same time.
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