Why Employers Should Be Checking New Employees' Social Networking Profiles?

new employeeEvery employer tries to hire the best employee in terms of educational qualification and professional experience. Its the responsibility of HR department to seek and recruit the best employee for their job opening.

In Pakistan hiring an employee is an easy task. A reviewing of the candidates papers, an interview and consulting a few references and you are done. Following the philosophy of first impression is the last impression. Every employee tries to present their self  in the best possible manners. Regardless how that person is in its normal life. Everyone would hire a sober looking and a well dressed person speaking fluent English with a charismatic personality. But afterwards when the employee gets hired. He tends to show his true spirit. Behaving in a way which is unacceptable and wasn’t seen during the interview.

The thing is judging the behavior and true personality of a possible employee with just an interview and a few references is not enough. If we take an example, In US HR firms do a thorough check on the social networking profiles of the employee prior to the interview. They check the domestic life and background of their yet to be employees to see what are their habits and living style. If you have put a picture of yours with your friends during a game of beer pong and you happen to be in US then you will would never get the job no matter how many A’s you got in your academic life.

This practice enables employers to hire the best staff which positively impacts the future of their companies. So, companies and HR firms in Pakistan should also consider to check social networking profiles of job seekers to make sure they are recruiting the best people. With more than 900,000 people on Facebook from Pakistan and the ongoing awareness of blogging – every job seeker is likely to have an online social profile. With which his social lifestyle and habits can be monitored.

According to a study from US job website, CareerBuilder:

Forty-five percent of employers are using social networking sites to research job candidates prior to interviewing them. Of those who conduct online searches/background checks of job candidates, 29 percent use Facebook, 26 percent use LinkedIn and 21 percent use MySpace. One-in-ten (11 percent) search blogs while 7 percent follow candidates on Twitter. Thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate. Fourteen percent of employers also disregarded a candidate because thy sent a message using an emoticon such as a smiley face while 16 percent dismissed a candidate for using text language such as GR8 (great) in an e-mail or job application. Eighteen percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them to hire the candidate.

This shows that how beneficial  social media can be for both the employer and the employee. I think its time that employers should start this practice and pick the right people. At least IT and Telecom industries must screen their employees prior hiring them. This can also help job seekers to build up a strong social profile highlighting their academic and professional achievements and maintaining a good relationship with their peers. Social media networks like LinkedIn can actually get job seekers the best job they can think about. Social media is a powerful tool – What both employers and employees need to do is use it in the best way.

  • Randy Pena

    I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  • Muhammad Asad

    That sounds really weird. A person might not be in actual what he is at a social networking site. He might be using that for some fun. I completely disagree with this sort of judgment. Being a part of corporate world of Pakistan, I would say this method is crap.

  • ztauseef

    This article is not providing the whole picture hence a low quality.

    Looking at people social networking profile should be part of the wider HR policy. This should not be the end but a mean to get an alternative view on the candidate (may be).

    What people do in their private lives should not concern companies and as long as they can get the job done and have a track record to prove it, then they should be hired.

    Social networking websites e.g. Facebook allow you to set privacy settings such that only those who you want will see your profile.

    If you are part of a social network online which doesn’t let you do this then my advise is to delete yourself from it.

    Lastly Googling a candidate name is a good thing to find out criminal pasts etc as they would make way to news papers and hence to Google.

  • Sajjad

    I agree with Muhammad Asad

    In US they may using this childish approach but its not practical in Pakistan. How many HR are interested in doing this sort of work to judge person by looking at social networking websites.

    This is same is looking and judging a person for Job when he is sleeping or playing games . What a crap approach

  • یار کیوں لوگوں کے پیٹوں پر لاتیں مارنے کا پروگرام بنائے بیٹھے ہو؟

  • i think its not very important to check out all the profiles if i recommend that would be linkedin to be reviewed

  • Khan

    i have just gone through this I think this is absolutely unnecessasry as what goes on in the US doesnot necessarily be practicle in Pakistan, Especially the part where they influenced their decision. so their people are way differnt than Us. I Guess !

  • Altaf

    Nice article, however, too much focused on US culture. Like Asad said, it’s not necessarily true that the social network is used for formal or other such professional purpose. A person is generally different in personal life than professional life. Their social networking profiles shouldn’t be the major contributor to their professional judgement. It’s entirely possible that some one’s social profiles doesn’t look favorable but his professional profiles are very impressive. This can lead to confusion and causing stereo typing on his personality.

  • That’s an interesting post, I really think that social platformsnetworking type of sites are going to be taking a huge gain in 2010. I really think that we are only in the beginning stages of social networking and we can see that with applications like Gowalla, it’s only a matter of time until all things are communicating together at an even greater level. I’m can’t wait and am excited for this year, it’s gonna be a big year in social networking. I’m wondering what you think?

  • Saqib Saud