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Top 10 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid For Recruiters and Candidates

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By Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

Part 1 in our 2 Part Series

If you’re a recruiter, you may remember when searching for candidates meant phoning your contacts to spread the word. If you’re a candidate, you might recall when your professional profile was confined to a page or two on a résumé. Those days are gone — exponentially gone. Sourcing candidates now is primarily an online effort and, more and more, it involves social media networking. Online professional profiles can be extensive, and they extend past LinkedIn (in some cases they slop over!). Recruiters and candidates both need to be savvy when it comes to social media.

At Decision Toolbox we leverage social media networking for just about every search, and we’ve discovered some best practices to avoid social media pitfalls. In Part One I’ll share five pieces of advice to avoid social media mistakes for Recruiters. Then check back for Part Two, where I’ll present five for candidates (hint: whether you’re a recruiter or a candidate, you’ll do well to read both lists . . . )

Part One: What Savvy Recruiters Don’t Do

1. Go in without goals.
Define what you want to discover when you look at a candidate’s LinkedIn profile. Is it simply an alternative to a résumé? Maybe you want to know how large the candidate’s network is, which can be important for sales and business development positions. Your goal is to get information, so gaining clarity on WHICH information can save you time and help you avoid distractions.

2. Pull the “reject” trigger too quickly.
When you see a gap of a couple of year in someone’s employment history, it should be an orange flag, but not a red flag. In fact, it might be an interesting discussion point if you interview that person. Maybe they spent those two years in rehab, but maybe they spent them building homes with Habitat for Humanity.

3. Gloss over the groups.
Check out what LinkedIn groups your candidate has joined — if she’s a tax accountant, is she a member of the LinkedIn FASB ASC 740 group? How active is she? Is she considered a subject matter expert? If she’s not active in LinkedIn groups, you should look for participation in other professionals associations.

4. Fail to make the connections.
Any qualified candidate should have relevant connections in the right industry. If he doesn’t, you should be asking why not. But if he does, you might be able to reach out to those connections to extend your search. LinkedIn is like a giant online Rolodex®. By the way, look for credible recommendations, from clients or coworkers — people who actually crossed professional paths with the candidate. By the same token, take endorsements (especially the one from the candidate’s mom) with a grain of salt.

5. Forget the alphabet soup.
EEO, ADA, AA, OFCCP — those guidelines still apply as you browse social media. In fact, social media often makes it easier to find information that may not be on a résumé — race, color, age, or disability, for example –but you still need to comply with regulations about using that information in hiring decisions. We all have the potential to jump to erroneous conclusions, so we all have to be on guard in all phases of the hiring process.

Hopefully these tips are useful whether you are a recruiter or a candidate. That should hold true for the next post: what smart candidates don’t do in the social media world.

Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn or Twitter.

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, contact us – we’d love to hear from you!

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2 Responses to “Top 10 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid For Recruiters and Candidates”

  1. March 12, 2016 at 11:07 am, David said:

    Completely agree with the mistakes you have mentioned above.

    These are the most common social media mistakes which people make. Social medias are the 2nd best places in drive potential customers and readers after search engines.

    Along with these mistakes, not providing regular updates are also a common mistake as I think. I have seen so many brands on Facebook who never takes care of their audience and that’s why they don’t have engagement.

    People always want entertainment or something which can keep themeselves busy and If any brand isn’t providing such type of content then there might be the higher chances that the audience will forget the name of their brand.

    So to keep their name in their audience mind, they must have to provide such content which can help, entertain and keep their audience busy.

    I am glad that you have mentioned these major social media mistakes. So Thanks for sharing it with us. 😀

    Reply

    • March 17, 2016 at 11:27 am, Nicole Cox said:

      > Thank you for your post David. I appreciate your comments. Social media takes a lot of attention for companies to do it well.

      Reply

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