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Employers digging beyond the social status

Employers should investigate further than a 'social status'

Kipp columnist Sarah Rassasse says if employers want to hire through social networks, then a little investigative effort is in order.

April 16, 2013 10:37 by

As we discussed earlier, and as a follow-up to my previous column, many employers have been caught relying purely on an individual’s social reputation when making the decision to hire them. Now, while false social reputations can be very expensive, employers can still use social platforms to their advantage.

There are a few steps each employer can take before setting up that interview.

a)   Go through the CV and their LinkedIn profile and see if there are any mismatches.

b)   Prepare a list of questions that the interviewee would only know if they actually worked or experienced a certain role – the devil is in the details.

c)   References – there are two types of references; one would be the candidate’s previous employer and others would be his or her ex-colleagues. The reason why these two are both pertinent is because they usually have completely different – but equally important – things to say.

-The employer might be a bit harsh if things did not end well and might miss some important details; such as “this person is always late to work and missed a few deadlines, but they are meticulous”. This is also something social reputation won’t be able to tell you.

-The ex-colleagues may support the candidate’s social reputation to an extent, but they might also share insight that social platforms cannot show you. For example; the candidate might appear friendly and social; but does that make them a team player?

d)   Check the candidate’s Facebook timeline and Twitter to get a feel of what that person is like. Perhaps he/she is great at what they do, but won’t fit within your company’s environment. This may seem like a long process, but all you need is a few minutes on each platform to get a feel of what or how they would fit in.

Last, but not least, would be to look out for patterns in the candidate’s job history. Did he/she move jobs a lot? Did he/she have long periods of time without a job? This is also important as it can say a lot about their future commitment to your company.

Finally, once the social platforms have been screened, information put together and the interview is conducted; go with your gut feeling. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.


When Sarah isn’t busy meeting clients and deadlines with Prototype, she’s got her detective cap on; finding new social networks as well as testing out new features and spreading the word along the way. You can reach her [email protected]

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