➢ Fair Use of Social Media in Recruiting

Evaluating Facebook pages, personal Tweets and Linkedin are now part of our standard candidate evaluation procedure, and yes we have eliminated candidates from consideration based on what we saw there.  Social media sites are a meaningful reference point in developing a complete picture of a candidate.   They give us a feel for the candidate at home, and who he or she is off the job.  It gives us hobbies and pastimes, tells us what matters personally to him or her, family dynamics and all that.  And we get very little of this in the interviews, where the candidate presents the personna for public consumption.

But perspective is called for.  People need to be allowed to be who they are with friends, and to publish that information within reason.  And before we shoot someone for personal information published, we need to look in the mirror and ask if there is really anything unreasonable in what was said or posted, or if a personal bias might be causing us to think negatively about the candidate.

Let me give you a personal example I have been concerned about.  I do a little hunting.  A little, because I haven’t time for more.  And I put up a picture of a wild boar I shot earlier in the year, because friends were interested.  Then I found myself rethinking the decision.  Might a potential client with strong anti-hunting feelings see the photo and might it cost me business?

Well, I left it up, because a potential client that hunts might also call me first.  The thing cuts both ways, I guess, and anyway, outdoor pursuits are part of who I am.

Obviously, we expect business leaders to use good judgment at all times.  If a potential CEO, CFO, CMO or COO doesn’t on their Facebook page, they might not on the job, especially in social situations after hours with clients, colleagues or vendors.