If you haven’t started working social media and online profiles into your staffing strategy, now is a great time to start. Social media is here to stay, and if you aren’t taking advantage of publically available information that’s strictly voluntary on the candidate’s part, you’re missing out on an opportunity to make smarter, better-informed choices about who you choose to bring onboard.
Facebook and Twitter provide information that candidates may or may not choose to share with you, and for the most part, these sites offer details that reflect the candidate’s personal life, not her professional accomplishments and goals. But Linkedin is different. And right now, this is the most popular, widely used, and reliable source of candidate information available beyond the standard resume and cover letter combination. Here are a few tips that can help you use this site to identify the best candidates in your applicant pool.
1. Look for articulate thought leaders with a strong sense of professionalism.
First, review each candidate’s basic profile information. A given candidate may not choose to share a wealth of background information in this venue, but take a close look at whatever’s there. Is it well written? Is it clear? Is it honest?
2. Look for supplemental clues.
Check the candidate’s testimonials. What do others have to say about her value as an employee? Read these with the context in mind of course—some testimonials are written by low level supervisors who worked closely beside her, and others may be written by high profile company leaders who haven’t interacted with her very much, but take the source into account and read them all.
3. Compare the number of recommendations to the length of the contacts list.
If a candidate has fifty recommendations, that’s great…until you notice that she has five hundred total contacts. By the same token, a candidate with twenty contacts and twenty recommendations is comparatively drawing a stronger reaction from her network.
4. Search for evidence of groups, comments, posts, and reposts.
Does the candidate make insightful and supportive comments on the posts of others within her industry? Does she post and repost intelligent articles with her own insights added? Does she engage with others in her sectors of the marketplace? When you reach this step, take the information you find with a grain of salt; keep in mind that true thought leaders who are genuinely engaged with their professions don’t spend all their time on social media. Watch out for candidates who don’t seem to leave the site except to sleep. But within reasonable limits, take each comment to heart and use it to inform your overall impression.
For more on how to get the most out every staffing resource at your disposal, including social media and online profiles, reach out to the hiring and management experts at Accent.