Today’s internet age has added some new aspects to candidate pre-screening. However, it is important to understand how to use some of these social media sites to review a candidate’s information before making a hiring decision. Some of this information is firmly within a legal gray and employers should use caution. Let’s look at ways to use LinkedIn, one of the most popular professional networking sites, to screen candidates.

  • Review their page before contacting the candidate. Many times, if a company makes a candidate aware that they will be reviewing their LinkedIn page, the candidate may take some time to make improvements. To get a more authentic look at the individual’s background, look at it in conjunction with reviewing their resume.
  • Look at the way their career has advanced. A LinkedIn profile isn’t exactly like a resume, so you may get a slightly different picture when comparing both documents. Look at the candidate’s job history. Can you see advancement in their career? Can you see where they have used their skills or passions to progress?
  • Evaluate the recommendations and endorsements. There are two ways for professional peers to provide feedback for individuals on LinkedIn. The first is the recommendation which is a sort of virtual reference letter that is permanently attached to a candidate’s page. The second is for other LinkedIn users to endorse that the candidate does, in fact, have the skills they’ve listed. Both of these are great ways get more insight on the candidate’s performance and background.
  • Look at the groups they have joined. Groups are a popular feature of LinkedIn and can give you some great insight on the skills, interests, and background of a potential candidate. Look for shared groups with your own employees or business to see if there are values and ideals that are similar.
  • Be cautious about what you review. It is always good to keep in mind the legal impact of pre-screening candidates by using the internet. Keep in mind any information that may be considered discriminatory when you’re reviewing a candidate. When you are looking at LinkedIn keep the search professionally appropriate.

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