How can social media affect the hiring process?

In the last decade the recruitment process has expanded significantly through the digital platform. The social media boom has prompted many employers to advertise jobs through social media channels and utilise this in the hiring process.  

According to results from a Robert Walters whitepaper, over 50% of employers’ research prospective employees on social media sites before hiring.  LinkedIn is the most widely used social media channel with 85% of professionals holding membership of this site. Facebook and Twitter are also heavily active with 74%. With this in mind, it’s important to tailor these channels to help further your job search.  

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is widely considered the key professional social media platform, with many employers searching a candidate’s profile. In a survey conducted by Careerbuilder, it was found that 65% of employers use social networks to research the candidate’s professional ethic. It is therefore crucial your LinkedIn profile shows you in the best possible light.

To do this, it’s advisable that your profile is fully completed and up to date. Studies have found that users with 100% profile completeness are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities from employers:

  • Ensure your education and job history is up to date with a descriptive outline of each role.
  • Use your profile to highlight key responsibilities in your career; this will make you more attractive to a potential employer.
  • Join and contribute to groups relevant to your field.
  • Ensure your profile photo shows you in a professional light.
  • Gain some solid recommendations and endorsements from previous employers, allowing future employers to perceive your career strengths.  
  • Build your connections. Actively networking with professionals in your field reflects good professional relationships and also increases the amount of endorsements and recommendations you’re likely to receive.

Facebook

According to surveys, 70% of employers believe Facebook should be used for personal interactions rather than professional. A sensible precaution is to make sure your profile isn’t accessible outside of your social circle. Some key steps to aid this include:

  • Use your Facebook privacy settings, it’s generally advisable that you set your profile to private. If you do choose to keep your page public, make sure you do not post anything you wouldn’t be comfortable with a potential employer viewing.
  • Ensure your photographs, posts and tags are hidden from public viewing.
  • Remove your Facebook from Google searches (this can be done through the privacy settings tab).

In some cases, employees have lost their jobs due to inappropriate comments posted on Facebook. Upon securing your new role, ensure you do not use Facebook to write inappropriate comments which could jeopardise your position.

Twitter

Twitter is considered more appropriate for personal use than professional unless you work in the marketing, digital or communications sector. 39% of hiring managers do not, as a rule, use Facebook or Twitter as part of the recruitment process.

However, if you do work in a field where a Twitter outlet can be a valuable professional asset you are still able to hide who you follow by creating a private list; this will allow employers to view your tweets but not details about the people you follow. A tip for candidates is to keep your tweets and hashtags appropriate to your professional field. Even with a private profile, employers are able to view your bio section so remember to be cautious about the information you post.

Social media can largely influence your job application, being pro-active online can increase your search ability. Remain professional, aware, and show employers why you can be an asset to their company.