Tuesday, July 01, 2014

5 secrets to weeding out bad candidates using social media

Sure, you’re looking for the right mix of skills and experience in a candidate, but you’re also looking for the “right fit.” In other words, you want someone who’ll blend seamlessly into your company culture. Problem is, a resume and interview can’t always answer the “fit” question. 

Social media can get you a lot closer. It can provide employers with an all-important window into a candidate’s true identity.
Here are some things HR pros look for to find the right “fits” for their companies:
Signs of confrontation
Is the person constantly picking fights or complaining on Facebook or Twitter? We’re not talking about the occasional criticism (everyone has a bad day). You’re looking for a pattern of discontent with the people and world around the candidate.
If the person’s constantly putting others down and arguing, it could be a sign of a malcontent.
The biggest red flag: Picking fights over little things, like what local restaurant has the best burgers. If the person’s unwilling to let others express their opinions without putting everyone one down who disagrees with his or her viewpoint, it’s probably safe to assume the person isn’t a team player.
Employer, manager put downs
By now, you probably already know the basic signs of risky candidates, like excessive amounts of photos or comments of themselves drinking or partying.
But you’ll also want to keep an eye on whether or not they’re saying negative things about their current or past employers.
Someone who’s unafraid to badmouth their boss or company online can really hurt your image. And with the National Labor Relations Board heavily scrutinizing restrictive social media policies, it’s hard to enforce rules that would be effective at limiting these kinds of derogatory comments.
That means the best approach is to weed out candidates likely to make those kinds of comments from the get-go.
Grammar and spelling mistakes
Again, a few slips of the tongue/keyboard are OK. But you want to be wary of candidates who appear to have a total disregard for the English language.
Reason: The way they communicate on social media is probably a good indication of how they’ll communicate, at least digitally, in your office.
Immature language
Yes, the Internet has a vernacular all its own. But again, the words candidates use online will crossover into the workplace.
Some terms HR managers have flagged as deal breakers, include:
§  “totes” instead of “totally”
§  “amazeballs” instead of “amazing” or “excellent”
§  “meh,” which stands for “bland”
§  “weaksauce” instead of “terrible”
§  “yolo,” which stands for “you only live once”
§  “tweeps” instead of “Twitter followers,” and
§  “methinks” instead of “I think.”
Work experience
As you’re fully aware, candidates will often try to artificially inflate their experience or qualifications on their resumes. Well, LinkedIn can be a good way to double-check that what candidates have put on their resumes is correct.
Sure, their LinkedIn profiles can be made up of lies as well, but you want to at least make sure candidates’ resumes and online profiles sync up. If they don’t, confront candidates on the issue.
In addition, check a candidate’s endorsements on LinkedIn. While it’s not necessarily hard to get someone to endorse you on the site, you at least want to see that they have been endorsed in the critical areas of expertise you’re looking for.