Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Top Social Media Red Flags You Should Look Out For When Recruiting

Most candidates are well aware that recruiters and hiring managers are giving their social media pages the once-over prior to making a hiring choice. Yet some potential employees seem to disregard this fact as they take to Facebook and Twitter. From drunken pictures to rants about their current employer, it is more common than you would think for a candidate to make serious missteps on social media. Prior to recruiting someone, look for these social media red flags. These actions may indicate that your recruit isn’t the right candidate for the job:

They mention drugs

The right candidate won’t mention any drugs, unless it’s saying “Don’t do them.” If your candidate constantly makes jokes about using drugs (or hanging out with those who do) then it’s time to move on to someone else. If they’re fine with referencing drugs on such a public forum, they may have a habit that can negatively impact workplace performance.

They post inappropriate content

Sharing a raunchy joke with buddies is fine, but when that content is going on someone’s social media page for their Great Aunt Nelly, their little brother, and possibly their potential employer to see, it is time to rethink offering this candidate a position. Someone who posts sexually explicit material in a fairly public forum may lack the judgment you need them to have in order for them to contribute positively to the team.

They can’t spell. At all.

While we tend to be a little more carefree about spelling and grammar on our social media pages, if this potential employee is struggling with basic words, it’s time to rethink the job offer. If they mix up the proper use of “who” and “whom,” that’s fine. If they are having trouble spelling words that a first grader should know, that’s a red flag.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for heated rants about work-related issues. Sure, an employee should be able to express their frustrations after a stressful day, but someone who isn’t careful may end up spilling company secrets during their tirade. Plus, even when they are at home, employees serve as representatives for their companies. A person who has nothing but quips and complaints about their place of employment is not exactly helping that business’s image.

While you should certainly weigh in other factors as you consider whether or not you want to make an offer to this person, it is important to bear in mind that Facebook does carry some weight in the 21st century. If a person acts foolishly on social media, it’s likely that they will behave in this same manner when handling dealings with clients.

How much does Facebook weigh in to your hiring decisions? Let us know in the comments!

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.