5 Reasons to Use Social Media for Candidate Screening

There’s a lot to be learned about a candidate from their application, pre-hire assessments, and interviews. But, there’s even more to be discovered through social media and online content. Let’s face it, many people spend significant amounts of time online and on social media, and their behavior there can reveal a lot about them. With effective social media and online candidate screening solutions, you can ensure that every candidate who makes it to the end stages of the hiring process is not just qualified, but quality. 

To ensure that every candidate selected for hire is a good fit for not only the job requirements, but also the company’s values and team fit, social media proves to be an effective resource for any hiring team. Ultimately, social media and online screening are another resource hiring teams have in their toolbox to ensure the best candidates are hired for the right positions. Plus, many leading social media screening solutions can be easily integrated into a candidate screening process using innovative and compliant technology. 

Why Is Candidate Screening Important?

Every business has a set of goals that they strive for, work that needs to be done, and a reputation to uphold. It’s near impossible to do that without an incredible team. When evaluating applicants, effective talent teams look for more than qualified candidates. They evaluate candidates for alignment with the company’s values and goals, culture fit, other skills and competencies they may have that can increase their contributions to the team, and more. The top talent teams look for everything above, as well as for signs of past misconduct or highly problematic behaviors that make them unfit for the position as well as harmful to the organization.

Getting all this information with the limited time most hiring teams spend with candidates pre-hire requires an often long and multistep candidate screening process. These include initial resume reviews, social media screenings, assessments, multiple rounds of interviews, reference checks, background checks, and more. 

In today’s digital age, most companies are doing all this with the support of candidate screening tools. Different types of candidate screening solutions each work a little bit differently. But, each helps companies either match candidates and applicants to roles, create or narrow down a shortlist, or verify positive and negative indicators about why a candidate would be a pass or a smart hire.

These tools are important because they can significantly reduce the time to hire by reducing the delay caused by pre-employment assessment processes and ensure that companies are hiring the right people for the right roles. This means businesses are better equipped to meet their hiring goals as these processes can be automated thanks to candidate screening software tools. As a result, hiring teams can make informed decisions using the information gathered through candidate screening and, with these tools, they will be confident that their selected hires will add the value that they’re looking for.

Not only that, but effective candidate screening, when used to make smart hiring decisions, can improve business efficiencies once those hires begin their new roles. How? Well, when the most qualified people are placed into roles that are best for them, they’re more likely to complete their work efficiently and at a higher level of quality in comparison to someone who may have slipped through the cracks without a thorough look into their prior behaviors.

Further, by narrowing down the candidate pool to only the most qualified candidates, the final hire will be someone who is more likely to remain in their new position, meaning less turnover and reduced costs for replacing old employees. 

To understand the value of candidate screening it may be helpful to consider the effects of a poorly conducted candidate screening process. Take for example, an applicant who was not thoroughly vetted or screened. When it comes to hiring, knowledge is powerful and anything that isn’t discovered early in the hiring process may come back up when it’s too late. If the screening process misses indicators of bad or illegal workplace behavior, then a candidate who would likely be screened out will still be hired as the misconduct would be undetected. 

Our 2023 findings indicate that 1 in 10 candidates engage in misconduct, which has a wide range of negative repercussions when these individuals are hired, including legal fines and costs associated with employee turnover. The number of candidates that slip through the screening process because of misconduct is likely higher than you are aware. In the entertainment industry, for example, 25% of candidates that Fama screens have at least 1 misconduct flag that appears in their publicly available online content.

To avoid the negative repercussions of a bad hire, thorough candidate screening, including social media screening, has proven to prevent any problems before being given an opportunity to arise. And, there’s a lot that online profiles can reveal about a hire that might not come up during screening or interview processes. 

5 Benefits of Social Media for Recruitment and Screening

One of the best ways to truly get to know someone is by seeing how they act day to day. During a hiring process, turning to one of the most widely used resources, social media, can be a resource to do just that. This adds a tremendous amount of value to your screening process by evaluating information outside of just the application or in interviews when people are putting their best foot forward. Here are a few benefits that come with social media for recruitment and candidate screening.

#1. Social media screening helps you understand candidate personalities and workplace competencies 

Preserving company culture is a great way to ensure that everyone has a positive work experience, works effectively together, and overall makes strides toward business success. And, social media screening can reinforce these goals. 

Online content and social media profiles often provide a more personal and authentic view of a candidate. As a result, hiring teams can gain insights into their personality traits and workplace competencies, helping to assess cultural fit within the organization. And, the way that a candidate represents themselves online can also be used as a predictor for how they will represent the company online if hired. This is important when considering how a candidate may impact brand reputation. 

#2. Social media screening identifies workplace misconduct

Social media screening identifies misconduct red flags in candidates. It pinpoints the 1 in 10 individuals who commit misconduct like harassment, sexual misconduct, and violence – all behaviors that make someone a bad hire. This legal, compliant, and proactive approach can prevent crises and protect the organization from negative publicity before there’s an opportunity for misconduct at your workplace. This is how social media screening reduces risk in the hiring process. 

#3. Social media screening helps narrow down your candidate pool

By highlighting candidates’ positive personality traits and competencies and uncovering candidates with critical misconduct issues, social media and online screening helps hiring teams shortlist, evaluate, and select great hires. Research shows that over 85% of hiring managers who do online screening, either manually or through a legally-compliant platform, have found content that caused them to pass on a candidate. Candidates share all kinds of red flags on social media, and adding online candidate screening and social media screening to your candidate screening processes can find these so you don’t hire someone with misconduct issues like history of violence, harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, and other critical issues. 

#4. Social media screening reduces time to hire 

Thoroughly understanding a candidate can take time. However, implementing the right processes and using the best tools can drastically reduce the time spent on this portion of the hiring process. 

Take, for instance, pre-employment assessments. These tools help assess a candidate’s skills, personality traits, behaviors, and more before hiring, but the dwell time between administering the assessment, waiting for the candidate to take the test, and analyzing the results can lengthen the hiring process, which negatively impacts the candidate experience. In fact, it’s fairly common to see candidate drop-off during this step. 

Fortunately, companies can use AI social media screening to review a candidate's positive personality traits and workplace competencies without the candidate needing to commit time or resources of their own, reducing the time spent waiting for a candidate to act to see results of the analysis. While the online candidate screening software scans social profiles and content, hiring teams can also dedicate their time toward other tasks. 

#5. Social media screening improves candidate quality

Candidate quality is one of the top challenges hiring teams are faced with today. It’s an extremely important part of any hiring process. Identifying candidates with workplace misconduct earlier in the process and getting insight on how a person may act or behave in the workplace improves quality of hire. 

Examples of Social Media Red Flags Uncovered Through Candidate Screening

So, what kind of information can be found using social media for recruitment and screening? While social media screening can help verify positive indicators of a high-quality candidate, it can also be useful for its ability to uncover negative qualities. 

  • Posts that feature discriminatory or intolerant language: It’s important that every hire adds value to the company, including the ability to uphold the company’s values. However, social media screening can uncover red flags in online profiles that go against these core values, such as discriminatory and intolerant language.
  • Illegal activities: Hiring someone who engages in unlawful activities can have lasting repercussions on any business. Fortunately, social media screening can highlight evidence of illegal activities that may indicate someone is a bad hire. For example, an image of the candidate using illegal drugs may be enough for hiring teams to decide to remove the candidate from the hiring process, drug test the candidate, or ask them to remove the post so customers and other business stakeholders don’t see the misconduct behavior. 
  • Threatening or violent behavior: Among the list of bad workplace behavior, violence is probably toward the top. Not only does a violent person impact brand reputation, but these people, when hired, create unsafe work environments at best. To prioritize a healthy and safe workplace culture, companies can utilize social media screening to find prior instances of violence and remove these candidates from the hiring process. This also includes screening for threatening or abusive language across online channels.

How to Effectively Use Social Media for Candidate Screening

When using social media for candidate screening and background checks, there are a few important features to keep in mind. First, employers must be cautious and ensure that their social media screening practices comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as only evaluating publicly available profiles. However, when done appropriately, social media screening can contribute to a thorough and lawful hiring process.

Additionally, to effectively use social media as a screening tool, employers may want to evaluate online screening partners that can ease the process. Without the right tools or partners, this process can quickly become tedious. Ultimately, the goal of candidate screening is to hire the right people, and by using the right tools, many common challenges can be removed from the equation, such as costs associated with poor hiring decisions and lengthy screening processes.

Finally, employers will want to find a screening solution that adds value to the hiring process by reducing the time to hire. With Fama’s new Instant Fit screening tool, you can verify that applicants have the qualities that you value and use this data to support your hiring decisions. 

To learn more about how Instant Fit can improve your candidate screening process and improve quality of hire, book a demo with the Fama team today!