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How to Evaluate a Candidate’s Facebook Profile

Facebook is the world’s largest social network. It’s where more than a billion people go to connect, share, and reflect. For recruiters, Facebook provides the world’s largest database of candidates the world has ever known. Just like a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook user’s profile provides insight into your potential employee’s work habits, skills, and qualifications, and culture fit. Companies who are government contractors should be cautious as the OFCCP provides specific guidelines when recruiting on the internet or online. Understanding these guidelines and the required reporting as part of a company or location’s affirmative action plan includes recruiting data on Facebook which is why using tools like SmartRecruiters can be so beneficial. SmartRecruiters offers OFCCP reporting data.

For those recruiters who are recruiting on Facebook, it’s easy for recruiters to get overwhelmed or distracted by information and details that can get them in hot water.  Here are 4 do’s and don’t when evaluating a job seeker’s Facebook profile.

  • Mark Zuckerberg ResumeDo Look at Shared Content.  Look for industry insights, links to their professional blog, or information about how the candidate stays up to date with industry news, trends, and topics.  Avoid personal messages, private photos, or shared information that could make you and the employer liable if a hiring decision is made.
  • Don’t Look at Photos.  Personally, using Facebook as a recruiting and sourcing tool should not serve as a corporate witch hunt or background check alternative.  Focus on the candidate’s qualifications and not their recent breakup, religious opinions, bar photos, or post regarding their clear bill of health.
  • Do CheckOut Their About Page.  Aside from a candidate’s marital status or religious views, the Facebook About Page can provide you insights about the candidate’s work history (very important), contact information, or additional websites to visit.  This comes in handy if you are looking to contact the job seeker directly, and is a great place to fine a job seeker’s email or phone number they sometimes fail to provide on other social networking profiles like LinkedIn.
  • Do Access Apps.  Tools like BranchOut and GlassDoor can offer the opportunity to connect with job seekers and learn more about candidate impressions of your organization.  These apps offer robust profiles where job seekers can display and share their experiences. Depending on your level and access, you can search and source these apps directly even messaging job seekers who use the app. 

Facebook like any other tool is only as good as the candidate and the recruiter who use them.  Recruiting, sourcing, and hiring on Facebook can provide positive recruiting results but only if used wisely.  Most importantly, use this blog post to customize a candidate profile evaluation process document for others, including yourself as the recruiter to follow.  A document like this helps to create consistently among your team while clearly defining the objectives when searching closed social networking sites such as this.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. When she talks, people listen.  Also, connect with her on Pinterest @blogging4jobs. Photo Credit

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.