Who is Checking Whom?

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.


This idiom is often used to explain how equitable treatment can be applied in a given situation. Sometimes, these old phrases help to remind us of common human behaviours or expectations in the midst of increasing social and technological change.

At this point in the evolution of how social media is used, it should be no surprise to anybody that individual online profiles are subject to public scrutiny. This is particularly true in the recruitment function of Human Resources. Most employers who are actively engaged in the process of recruitment will spend some time reviewing candidate online profiles looking for multiple elements that may or may not determine an individual’s potential suitability and organizational fit.

The number of employers involved in social media searches continues to increase, as noted in a recently published survey. In addition, the survey indicates that employers are more likely to eliminate a potential candidate if they (the employer) are unable to find an online profile at all.

Click here to read about the social media survey results.

While the rates and the percentages of recruiters checking on candidate profiles through social media channels is on the rise, so too are the rates of individual job-seekers who are checking on those who are checking on them.

Click here to read how job seekers prepare for interviews including social media searches.

Job-seeking candidates have the same access to social media platforms as employers. Most candidates know that part of the preparation for a job interview includes online research through a corporate or organizational website or other online resources. As professional recruiters, we do expect a motivated candidate to come to the screening and selection process having done their homework, which would include research on the company profile and other business elements.

What we as recruiters may not fully appreciate is that job-seekers are increasingly going beyond the corporate profile, and are following through on our individual social media profiles. A job-seeker might gain significant insight as to whether or not a company would represent a good fit for them by paying attention to a potential employer’s comments and posts on social media.

It seems that a little bit of social media digging will indeed go a long way for the recruiting goose as well as the job-seeking gander.


Discussion Questions:

How would you update your current employer’s social media profile in order to attract a diversity of candidates?

As an HR professional, what would a prospective candidate see and read about you through your online profile as a private individual?

What sites do you expect candidates to research before coming in for an interview?

As a candidate, how much time to you spend researching potential employers, including checking out their individual profiles online?