Screening Applicants Via Social Media Yea or Nay

Screening Applicants Via Social Media: Yea or Nay?

In this digital age, technology rules all realms of our world and the HR sector is no exception. Now, more than ever, it has become easier to find information about potential employees even before performing a background check. Using social media to screen applicants is a practice that appears to be gaining traction, but is it a wise exercise? Let’s talk about the pros and cons of social media screening.

Social media gives a better insight as to whether or not the employee is right for your company


Screening applicants gives you firsthand knowledge on whether or not a potential employee will fit into the company culture. For example, you just had a very successful interview with a prospective candidate. They said all of the key things and look great on paper. Doing well in the interview is only part of the process. At times it is beneficial to do some research to see if they are who they say they are. This is where social media screening can tip the odds. On one hand, you may find that the candidate is very socially conscious and volunteers frequently. In fact, 19 percent of hiring managers found that social media helped them hire a candidate. On the other, you may find that an applicant uses social media to badmouth their current employer or that they’ve embellished their qualifications. Either way, social media gives a better insight as to whether or not the employee is right for your company.


Using social media to screen applicants can have legal implications if you are not careful. According to The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other numerous anti-discrimination laws, employers are not permitted to base their hiring decisions on protected characteristics, including an applicant’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender or disability status, for example. In addition, based on this 2014 CareerBuilder Survey, over 50 percent of hiring managers passed on candidates due to their social media accounts. Let’s not forget about how employees may feel about the practice. Employees may feel irked upon finding out that their employers snooped through their social media accounts so it’s important to tread lightly.

Get More Applicants from Job Boards

Don't post and pray. Get this exclusive FREE cheat sheet and take active steps to dramatically increase the results you get from your job board posts.

The Takeaway:

Bottom line, the accessibility that social media brings is a tempting way to gain information on potential employees. The insight could help you find the perfect employee or help you steer clear of a bad hire. That said, with great power comes great responsibility. Employers who adopt this practice should heed anti-discrimination laws and keep an objective scope. It’s best to not dig too deeply and to stick to the things that are relevant to the workplace. While social media screening may not appeal to everyone, it is a viable option for those who want to pursue it.

How about you? Would you use social media to screen applicants? Why, or why not?

If you have any further questions about the items mentioned in this article, or if you would like more information please, contact us.

Maximize Job Boards to Increase Your Applicants

Get More Applicants from Job Boards

Download this exclusive guide to improve applicant flow from job boards.

First Name*
Last Name*
Share this article

Trying to compare Applicant Tracking Systems?

This buyer's checklist will help you weigh all of your options!

Get My Checklist

Curious what ApplicantPro is all about?

Find out how we can help you streamline and optimize your hiring process!

See a Demo

Related Articles

team discussing ways to get more applicants
What is Recruitment Marketing?

Struggling to find quality applicants amid the current talent shortage? Recruitment Marketing has been gaining popularity in the hiring world. So what exactly is Recruitment marketing, and is it a good hiring solution for your organization?


hr talking with direct interest job seeker
A Breakdown to Convert Direct Interest Job Seekers

Walk away with an understanding of direct interest sources, roadmaps, flywheel setup, questions to ask, and more!


welcoming applicants to company
Successfully Convert Followers into Qualified Applicants

Facebook is a powerful sourcing tool when used correctly. If you want to use Facebook groups to recruit... it is not a post and pray structure.


Want a tour?

Schedule a Demo

Let's get started!

FREE Trial