By Jim Wong, CPA | April 22, 2013

Hiring managers recognize social media offers a great pool of talented candidates. In the past few years, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have changed the way companies of all sizes find and source talent. The relationship with candidates is now more conversational and transparent.

Social media profiles can tell you a lot about candidates. In fact, 86 percent view social media profiles during the decision process and 73 percent have successfully hired a candidate who was either identified or introduced through a social network.

“The online world has become awash with opportunities to both spread the word about job openings as well as investigate possible candidates before you meet them in the flesh,” says Susie Hall of The Washington Post.

She shares some advice for businesses to avoid information overload.

A great stop for hiring managers is LinkedIn. It shows a potential candidate’s professional growth; recommendations from colleagues, peers, and clients; and it gives an overview of their performance.

Whether you love or loathe Facebook, it’s still a good way to see a candidate beyond the resume, so long as they have an open page. You can see what activities they participate in outside of the office, music and television shows they like, and much more. “This information can provide powerful insight into whether a candidate is a good cultural fit,” says Hall. However with security settings, you may not be able to see much.

Through Twitter you can find out if job seekers are interested in your business and industry, their other interests, and also gauge their communication style. Just look at the news and posts they share. If the person has a common name, such as John Smith, it could be hard to identify which account belongs to them. But, check LinkedIn because they may have their Twitter handle under “contact information.”

Beyond the Big Three
Look past just the big three social networks listed above. Does the candidate have a blog? “A candidate’s blog is another way to evaluate cultural fit, because most blogs are a labor of love and really show passion for the topics they cover,” says Hall. Also, don’t forget social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram. They will give you a sense of a person’s interests in and outside of the workplace.

Using social media to learn more about potential job candidates can be a difficult path to travel. The additional information can be helpful, but there’s a fine line between too much and just enough information. Have a good strategy in place when you decide to use social media tools to find talent. Hiring managers have broadened their reach to include a multitude of social media resources and will continue to look for new ways to find and hire the best talent.

This article originally appeared on Clear Focus Financial Search.

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