Human Resources Management: What to Look for When Recruiting on Social Media

We’re living in a social media world, and that has implications for human resources management.

A study from CareerBuilder found 70% of employers are using social media to screen candidates, or even recruiting applicants through social media.

In addition:

  • 57% of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online;
  • 54% have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profile;
  • and more than 50% of employers check current employees’ social media profiles.

If you are using, or considering using, social media for recruiting, we’ve compiled some best practices to make your searches more effective.

  1. Establish a Screening Process

While social media can provide valuable information about a prospective employee, you can sometimes find out more than you bargained for. And there have been recent instances of employers getting into trouble for discriminating against candidates based on social media content. You should have an established and uniform screening process to reduce this risk.


  • What information you are looking for – for example, verifying job history, looking for potential red flags (e.g. discriminatory posts), inappropriate photos, etc.
  • When you want to look for the information — before offering an interview, after a phone screening, at the end of the process, etc.
  • What you will do if questionable information is found. If, for example, you find job history information on LinkedIn that seems incongruous with the applicant’s submitted resumé, it could be a misunderstanding or a bigger issue. Would you automatically reject that candidate, or ask them about it?
  • The litigation in your region regarding social media screening. Depending on where you are located, your province or state could have different laws about what information can be used when recruiting.

Developing a uniform screening process — including social media — can help protect your business from hiring that does not fit in with your culture and expectations but can also protect you from the risk of potential discrimination.

  1. Consider Using an Outside Resource

Another way that you can further protect your hiring process against discrimination is to use an outside screening source — either another employee (removed from the hiring process) or an outside agency. This person or agency can screen profiles for your determined criteria and present an impartial, factual report with their findings.

  1. Develop a Passive Recruitment Strategy

While many employers use social media for screening applicants who have already applied for an opening, just as many are using it for passive recruitment, or modern headhunting — finding people who seem like they would be a great fit for the organization.

If you have a hard-to-fill position, or one that is highly technical, this can be a great way to find a candidate who fits the bill. But it can also be made more effective with a strategy.


  • Developing a candidate profile for the type of role you are looking to fill. Where is the type of person likely to spend their time online?
  • The specific skills you are looking for. In the same way that you might build a job posting, you can use those skills to find special-interest groups that may be made up of people with those skills.
  • Using less popular social media platforms. Many recruiters use LinkedIn and Facebook, but for certain skills, other platforms may be preferable. For instance, graphic designers or artists might be easier to find on a visual platform, like Instagram. User experience (UX) professionals or programmers may congregate more on Reddit.
  1. Keep Your Own Social Media Presence in Mind

Remember that just as you are checking out a candidate’s social media profile, they are also assessing your business. Be sure that your company page reflects your employee culture and makes it clear why your organization is a great place to work. Some businesses even have a specific social media page for their recruiting.

  1. Use Technology to Help the Process

Certain AI tools can help your business screen applicants, which can be particularly helpful if you’re hiring from a large pool. You can also use software to create an applicant tracking system, keeping track of candidates for future postings they may be eligible for.

SHEA Global can help you identify the best HR technology for your business and create an effective social media recruiting strategy. Contact us today: call (905) 470 6830 or visit

Discover more on how to find even more ways to leverage social media for your human resources management,  with our free eBook, Managing Human Capital in the Social Media World