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Make Better Hiring Decisions – Let Social Media Help

August 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

In a recent New York Times article, the topic of providing Social Media Audits for new hires was addressed.  Most of us understand that social media is all about networking, sharing, being authentic and building relationships; however, the limits continue to get tested and sometimes people take sharing too far.  We have all witnessed the fiasco of Congressman Anthony Weiner.  In addition to its many benefits, social media has also brought down the powerful and the not-so bright.  But, can it be used as a tool to help us make better hiring decisions?  Simple answer, yes.

In May of this year, the FTC gave a green light for third party companies to run a different kind of background check – your Internet and social media background.  Companies scan internet search engines and social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin and others to drive a social profile of the candidate.  All the data is publicly available and does not require user names or passwords.

Consider why it might be a good idea to have a Social Media Audit done for your next new hire.  These audits screen for a handful of things that you would more than likely want to know before making a hiring decision including the negative such as: if the candidate had a history of aggressive or violent acts of behavior, unlawful activity, discriminatory activity (for example, making racist statements), or any sexually explicit activity and the positive how active the candidate is in their chosen clubs or charities, are their blogs, public speaking or external communications received positively and followed by the intended audience and are they an industry thought leader?

In an ever increasingly competitive world hiring the best people can make the difference between a thriving business and a struggling business.  Use all available resources at your disposal prior to making a hiring decision including Social Media Audits.

Dennis Stoutenburgh is President & COO of Social Strategy1.  He contributes blog posts weekly and can be found on Twitter @DennisSS.

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