Tales from the recruitment industry. Should recruiters look at a candidates Facebook page?

We live in a social media world and a simple Google search will bring up some information on everyone. But how far should recruiters go to find out what a candidate is like away from work? Is it relevant? In my opinion, yes, as it forms a more rounded picture of a candidate, but the key question is “is it ethical to look at a candidates Facebook page to glean this information?”

My view on this is no. I use a range of social media tools to meet/source/communicate and find out more about candidates. LinkedIn is the main one and I find it a very useful source of information. A lot of recruiters will tell you that a candidate’s LinkedIn page will show a candidate as they want to be perceived but their Facebook page will show you who they really are. I agree with this, but at what stage do we draw a line? Facebook for me is a social tool for friends & family only and just because a candidate has not ticked an obscure privacy button that does not mean it’s ok to go snooping.  My Facebook page contains numerous pictures and videos of me in various situations which taken out of context could lead someone to conclude I’m not suitable for a role. But whilst there may be a picture of me drunk in fancy dress as Mr T, I can confidently say I have never turned up to work either drunk or dressed as Mr T and certainly not both at the same time! So what is the relevance?

Look, I need to know that you have the skillset to do a job well and that you tick all the personality boxes; enthusiastic, good face to face skills, strong work ethic etc. But I can gain all of this via competency based interviewing and taking qualified references. So for now I will stick to LinkedIn. Let me know your thoughts on this one – or if you just would like to see a picture of me drunk dressed as Mr T, give me a shout!

At Digital Minds we only work in Digital. I work in the London Digital market and specifically within PPC, SEO, Digital Planning & Buying  & Social Media. If you are interested in a PPC job in London, SEO job in London, Digital Planner Buyer job in London or a Social Media job in London please give me a shout anytime. Simon Halkyard Simon@digital-minds.co.uk

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