Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Locating and learning about future public employees using social networks

I am a reasonably active LinkedIn user (view my profile here).

It's one of my professional networking tools for keeping track of 'people of interest' to me - from business contacts to potential employees and employers.

It, and similar social and professional networks, are also useful recruiting tools for managers and HR professionals seeking to find or screen job applicants.

This isn't news to US HR teams. A recent survey by, as reported in Reuters, found that 22 percent of hiring managers screened applicants via social networks.

From the article, One in five bosses screen applicants' Web lives: poll, of the managers screening applicants, 24 percent found information that solidified their decision to hire, while 34 percent found information that made them drop the candidate from the short list.

I also tend to Google people before making short-listing or hiring decisions (or when hearing about or meeting them professionally). It helps me build context and understanding and it draws on publicly available information (provided by the person in question), so there are no privacy considerations.

In terms of the full hiring process, for HR professionals and managers the online channel doesn't replace resumes, selection criteria and interviews, but it can certainly supplement this process by adding depth.

And for anyone seeking a new job, it is worth reviewing what you've said about yourself online - to ensure that you are representing yourself professionally.

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