Making a Case Against or for the Use of Social Media in Vetting Job Candidates

What’s the first thing we do when we meet someone new? When we get introduced to a person, we talk about mundane stuff, but not about the things that we are really curious about such as a person’s age, social status, job, educational attainment, interests, and the like. We now do that through social media. Gone are the days when we befriend someone over a cup of coffee. We are now so dependent on social media that even as employers, we vet job candidates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Maybe LinkedIn is okay. That is, after all, made for one’s professional presence on the internet. But what about Facebook and Twitter? Are you doing it right? It will surprise you to know that even if you outsource your human resource services, they will do the same thing on your candidates. Social media is the newest tool in this game.

Consumers Also Judge You Based on Your Social Media Posts

Don’t worry, because the same applies for or against you. As there were several issues in the past months, studies found out that consumers only want to support businesses that made a stand according to their conscience. If the company’s stand does not conform to what these consumers want, they will look for another one to support.

The same can be said for employers and potential employees. You don’t want to burden yourself by hiring someone who does not fit your company values. That’s why you check the potential hires’ social media profiles. You want to make sure you are aligning your company with people who share the same values.

Discriminatory Comments

Employers aren’t looking for something that will convince them to hire candidates. They are looking for something that should throw them off hiring them. Hiring managers don’t spend all their time checking the profiles of each candidate. They only check those they plan on hiring. What exactly are they looking for? They don’t want to associate themselves with discriminatory remarks that can be downright sexist, racist, and homophobic.

It’s not a matter of your personal views. It’s a matter of it being against the law. Down the road, you don’t want to deal with your employees’ discriminatory and racist remarks on Facebook because that will reflect on your organization.

Criminal Behavior

Sure, they will not post videos and photos of a criminal act. But sometimes, they post comments that admit to criminal behavior in the past. Did they run over someone in the past because they were drunk? Are they laughing about that now in their “throwback” posts? These are not the kind of people any company will want a connection with.

Disclosure of Confidential Information

happy woman sitting on a sofa with a laptop

During the job interview, you asked them about their relationship with their past employers. They said they were okay, and that they parted amicably. But how come that when you checked their Facebook, they bullied past employers and even disclosed sensitive information about the organization? Is this the kind of employee you want in your company? Will you feel safe working with this person?

A company needs loyal and honest employees. This means that even if you part ways in the future, you don’t have to worry about this employee leaking confidential information about your organization. If this is something this person did in the past, that’s a clear red flag.


Again, one of the most important traits of any worker is honesty. An employer should look for inconsistencies or contradictory information about the candidates’ employment history, education, achievements, and many more. Sometimes, people are too good to be true on paper. Take a peek into their social media pages and find out if this information is true.

Poor Work Ethics

Even the smartest candidates make silly mistakes on social media. If they post about going on a vacation when they said they were sick, what does it make of them? When they kept on sharing links every minute while at work, what does it mean about their work ethics? This is something you cannot gauge or measure until this person is actually working for you. However, thanks to social media, employers now have a tool that they can use to measure one’s work ethics.

It is important to note that social media is not the be-all and end-all of how to measure a potential employee’s values, ethics, achievements, and skills. However, because the technology is there, let it guide you in making the right decisions for your business. As long as you use it responsibly, it should help you achieve your business goals.

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