Over the past several years savvy hiring managers have made a new best friend. First name, Social, last name, Media and here’s why: As of December 2017, 81 percent of Americans had a social media profile, and that number isn’t going down anytime soon. More and more applicants are turning to social media to find their dream job while hiring managers are using the same platforms to vet potential candidates.
In theory, everyone on social should act like a potential employer is watching them, we recommend ‘The Grandma Rule.' If you wouldn’t want your Grandma to see what you’ve posted, you probably shouldn’t do it. But in reality, that’s not always the case. Chances are there are thousands of disappointed Grandmas and the same number of frustrated hiring managers that had wished they’d seen these candidate’s social media red flags.
A digital ghost.
We know it’s been said, but it’s worth saying twice. 81% percent of Americans have a social media profile. So the likelihood of you not being able to find someone online is pretty slim. Even if your applicant falls into the 19% bucket of socially shy people, they should still have some sort of digital footprint. Even something as small as a mention in a newspaper article or photo on a former employers website. Something that gives you a clue that they are, in fact, who they say they are. If your search leaves you empty handed, we’re gonna go ahead and give you a red flag, because staying digitally anonymous is nearly impossible. 😳
Posts inappropriate photos or comments. How rude?!
Although this point seems pretty obvious, here are a few things to consider. If a potential candidate makes a habit of posting questionable or even offensive photos and comments now, what will stop them once they are hired? The answer is nothing. Each employee is a representative of your company on and off the clock. It doesn’t really matter if they’re a stellar employee from 8-5 if they spend their free time trolling the Internet. It may not be fair, but their bad behavior could shine a not-so-positive light on your company.
It’s also important to pay attention to any posts that are derogatory towards past employers or fellow employees. You’re going to potentially work with this person, and if they’re consistently combative when it comes to working relationships, you’ll probably want to hit the brakes on the hiring process.
Their writing is just not right.
Thanks to autocorrecting, grammar and spelling mistakes are practically extinct. If your applicant’s social feed looks like a stream of incoherent, misspelled, emoji laden madness, you might want to reconsider. Don’t get us wrong; we love a good emoji, just usually placed after a perfectly proofed and punctuated sentence. 😉 You want your future employees to be well spoken and well branded in the digital world. Improper grammar or spelling is a deal breaker (and big red flag) in our book.
Every hiring manager sees it, most catch it, and social helps to confirm it. If your applicant lists amazing accomplishments on their résumé, most likely they’ve mentioned something about these said ‘accomplishments’ on social. Which would mean their friends, family, and especially their grandma, are sending messages of encouragement and support. However, if you scroll through their feed with no messages to be found, you’ve got a red flag on your hands.
They’re social… sort-of.
Serious applicants will make sure all of their profiles are consistent and up-to-date for potential employers to peruse. Any applicant who hasn't updated their profiles within the last three months should seem a bit suspicious. Although this is not a total deal breaker, it gives some insight into the applicant’s attention to detail and level of conscientiousness.
Now that we’ve laid it out spotting these red flags should be a cinch. The next trick is finding a digitally savvy candidate on social. Download the Buzzword Cheat Sheet: Digital Terms Every Potential New Hire Should Know, to find out if you are interviewing the right person.