Tweeting Through It: 11 Things to Look for on a Candidate’s Social Media Profiles

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Hiring Candidates Social Media Profiles

Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: You’re getting ready to hire someone — but first, it’s time to check out their social media accounts. What are you looking out for when you browse their profile pages? Why?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.


1. Communication Style

When I look at someone’s social media, what I’m really interested in is how they communicate. For me, writing skills are incredibly important. If there are typos in their descriptions or posts, chances are there will be errors in their professional communications, too. — Cody Candee, Bounce

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2. Professionalism, or Lack Thereof

I check the level of professionalism. There’s nothing wrong with having pictures of you socializing with friends, but make sure they don’t show you acting in an immature or irresponsible way. Have fun with your social profiles, but make sure there are no unprofessional or compromising comments or pictures. — Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

3. Culture Fit

It can be a challenge to find a great person who is also a perfect culture fit, but a candidate’s social media profiles will show you what they want to highlight about themselves. Is it positive? Is it fun? Is it interesting? These are all key things to take a look at when vetting a potential hire. — Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

4. How They Treat Others

Respect is essential. One of our core values is to treat others with trust and respect. If I were to see things on someone’s social media profiles that indicated they were disrespecting other people, that would be a huge red flag. — Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

5. Their Network and Connections

It’s a good idea to take a look at a person’s network and connections to verify their qualifications or education. This is possible on LinkedIn and even on other platforms, too. If a candidate has connections who went to the same school or are in the same industry, it’s more likely their qualifications are legitimate. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. The Content They Share

The content a person shares on social media says a lot about their personality and how they might behave in the workplace. However, it should not be the only determining factor in your hiring decision. — Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media

7. Their Followers

Who is following the person you might be hiring? It’s easy for the candidate to follow others, but if they attract notable followers of their own, that carries a lot more weight. This can also lead to some nice connections and networking opportunities for you and your business later on. — Zac Johnson, Blogger

8. Public Posts

One, when I was hiring, one of the candidates had their Facebook profile public. When I looked at it, I saw they were chugging a beer in their profile picture. Normally, I don’t care what people do outside of work. However, if a client saw that public photo, it would reflect badly on us. My suggestion to candidates is to keep those posts private. — Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Hobbies, Interests, and Skills

While a candidate’s social media content can help us weed out people whose activities can reflect badly on our businesses, it can also help us discover interesting skills that could be assets in our work. For example, a developer candidate who posts about art may be able to infuse more creativity into their work. Look for unexpected added skills when researching candidates on social media. — Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Badge Recommendations

We like looking at the badge recommendations on LinkedIn profiles. When someone has a ton of badges confirming they are talented in a specific skill set, we see that as a good sign and go through with an interview. — John Turner, SeedProd LLC

11. The Tone of Their Posts

Check the tone of a candidate’s social media posts. Some candidates are overly negative on Twitter or LinkedIn and may attack others for their opinions. Does this behavior reflect on their teamwork abilities? Can they maintain a positive attitude in your workplace? — Duran Inci, Optimum7


Read more in Social Recruiting

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