Why First Impressions Shouldn’t Be Everything

In search of a new job? It may be time to delete those questionable political posts and scrub any college party photos on Facebook.

Nowadays, many recruiters and hiring managers are turning to social media to get a glimpse of candidates. Because even one bad-hiring decision can set back a company, this practice has become the HR industry’s unofficial screening tool.

Fifty-two percent of employers use social media sites to research job candidates, up from 43 percent last year and 39 percent in 2013, according to CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey, which included more than 2,000 hiring and HR managers across multiple industries and company sizes.

Six in 10 are “looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job,” according to the survey. For some occupations, this could include a professional portfolio.

Social media has become so important in the hiring process that a candidate opting out of participating in social media, especially channels that could add professional credibility like LinkedIn, can hurt a candidate’s chances.

In fact, 35 percent of employers are less likely to interview candidates if they can’t uncover information about that person online, according to the survey.

But if employers truly want to gain insights on candidates beyond a resume and cover letter — and a few social media posts — they can turn to a system like Talent Management Plus™ (TMP), an assessment-based screening system that unveils analytics on one or several candidates’ behaviors, driving forces and skills to remove the guesswork out of hiring.

From there, employers can determine which candidates stand up against the job’s qualifications, providing for truly unbiased decision-making and an overall impartial hiring process. Someone’s behavioral makeup and skill set go far beyond a mere snapshot in time on social media.

A candidate’s journey toward landing a job is full of nerves and uncertainty. Don’t base decisions on gut feelings and by not understanding the “whole person.”

Zach Colick serves as a Content Specialist with TTI Success Insights and specializes in a host of copywriting and marketing strategies that help strengthen the TTI SI brand. Colick has close to a decade’s worth of experience in journalism, editing and marketing, and has held multiple positions within those fields. @ZachColick