Are Hiring Managers Using Social to Check You Out?


An increasing number of organizations are turning to social for recruiting…and hiring. And I’m not talking LinkedIn. That’s table stakes in today’s world. So what am I talking about? Your personal brand. What does it say about you and how well does it portray you to future hiring managers? Not sure? Let’s start with some basics:

  1. Facebook – Are your settings private? Can a recruiter or hiring manager access your personal account, your photos and/or your commentary?  Not sure? Well, that in and of itself is a problem.  In your current role, are you “friends” with colleagues and management? Every time you publish a status, every time you post a photo, every time you comment on someone else’s status or photo, you are creating an impression. Do you sound literate? Informed? Do you appear “together”? Drunk? Too much to think about every time you post? Possible…then it’s likely time to remove co-workers or update your privacy settings, because your activity can (and likely will) impact you at some point.
  1. Instagram – Posting crazy photos there as well? Do you know who is following you? If not, it’s time for a careful review. See #1.
  1. Twitter – Like to rant about politics, religion, your ex, your boss? You might want to think twice about that unless your account is protected (which is rare). In less than 30 seconds, recruiters can typically find anyone they want to find if the individual has a public Twitter account. In 1-2 minutes after that (often sooner), the recruiter will likely have formed an initial opinion of the individual based on his/her activity.
  1. The Wonderful World Wide Web – Google yourself lately? If not, please do.  If you’ve got a common name, your activity may be buried. If you have a unique name, your activity may pop up quickly, particularly when I type in your name and your current/past company.

According to a 2013 Career Builder Survey, 43% of hiring managers who used social media to screen job candidates found reasons not to hire them!

Now I’m not trying to go all “half-empty” on you. Social can be used to establish your personal brand, to promote yourself within your current organization and/or with future employers. My point is that each and every social interaction matters, so think wisely and post wisely. And make sure you are in compliance with your company’s social media policy and any laws that may govern such searches. There are both legal and ethical risks involved with making decisions based upon what you find if you decide to use whatever you find to influence your hiring decisions.