Social Media Screening: Why 57% of Recruiters Decided Not to Hire Candidates

By 6 July 2022 Articles

social media screening

According to Pew Research, millennials make up 27% of the world’s population. India, China, the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil are the five countries with the largest population of millennials.

The millennial generation—born between 1982 and 2004—is known as the tech-savvy generation. This generation is made up of those who are used to operating the TV remotely since childhood, growing up with Friendster, and becoming adults who are attached to their smartphones.

Currently, the workforce in Indonesia is dominated by the millennial generation. Naturally, new methods of working need to be instated in the workplace in order for it to function effectively. Therefore, companies need to make adjustments, one of which is related to the screening process.

Screening social media

In general, a millennial has at least one social media account, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anything else. They tend to share information, converse, and seek validation in the digital realm to get ‘likes’, ‘comments’, and ‘followers’. The behavior of this generation that tends to be open in the digital space can be an advantage for companies to explore the other side of their prospective employees through social media screening.

A survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that Seventy percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. Of those that do social research, 57 percent have found content that caused them not to hire candidates.

What to look for through social media screening?

Information that you may find on a candidate’s social media profile may make you sway either way, depending on your company policy. For example, you find out from a photo posted by a candidate on his profile that he once joined a legal mass movement. Perhaps in one company, it is considered part of a democracy and this information may not be an issue. However, for others, this may cause the candidate to be dropped because it may not fit the image or culture of the company, regardless of the status of the movement.

From the survey results, it was found that several types of information from social media generally influence the decision to choose a candidate, namely:

  • Provocative and inappropriate photos, videos, or information (46%)
  • Information related to drinking habits and consumption of illegal drugs (43%)
  • Comments on discrimination related to race, religion, gender, and so on (33%)
  • Posts that insult a coworker or previous employer (31%)
  • Bad communication skills (29%)

Meanwhile, the types of information from candidates’ social media that generally make companies decide to choose them are:

  • Background information supporting job qualifications (44%)
  • Photos, videos, and posts showing a professional image of a candidate (44%)
  • Candidate personality that fits the company culture (43%)
  • A candidate showing interest in many things (40%)
  • Showing good communication skills (36%)
  • Excellent communication abilities

Social media can be a valuable source of information for employers and can reveal details that may not be found on a candidate’s resume or will never be revealed in an interview. However, social media screening is not always easy. Almost all information that is open to the public is legal to access. This becomes easy when the candidate displays their social media profile openly to the public. The problem is when the profile is set to private. Doing social media screening itself potentially causes legal and ethical issues. Alternatively, companies can use trusted third-party screening services that provide comprehensive methods of media search based on applicable law.


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