Today’s job seekers live in an online world. In searching for the right candidates, social media can help identify those with the requisite skills and interests. It also provides key insights into the candidate’s motivations and needs, which can help in creating an attractive job offer. Besides, knowing more about the candidate beforehand helps make the interview process both more efficient and effective. When social media and data are combined with strong interview techniques, interviewers more efficiently identify the best candidates and increase the odds of a job offer’s acceptance.
Types of social media that aid recruitment
Social media allows human resources and managers to dig deeper into a job candidate’s backgrounds than possible in the days of the paper resume. Resumes provide the picture job seekers and recruiters want to project. Most candidates subconsciously pad their resumes in an effort to stand out. It’s human nature to emphasize strengths and downplay weaknesses.
Resumes serve one purpose for candidates: getting invited to an interview. Though resumes serve as a valuable screening tool that indicates whether a candidate has the basic qualifications needed to merit an interview, they may indicate little about how a candidate will perform in a particular work environment.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms tell management much more about candidates and provide far more authentic information. What are the candidate’s interests and experiences? Is the candidate creative, motivated or socially adept? Does the candidate suit the corporate culture? Social media provides clues about these and other questions that interviewers attempt to answer. By researching candidates on social media prior to an interview, human resources and management personnel can prepare for a thorough interview and better understand how to appeal to individuals.
How to identify strong candidates
Today’s business world is more data-driven, and so is the recruiting process. Finding strong candidates requires a deep dive into what makes current employees successful. Gathering data and analyzing how star employees create results give managers insight into what qualities to seek in candidates. Though this method of identifying desirable characteristics is nothing new, the advent of big data makes it more precise.
Talented employees tend to network with other skilled professionals. Companies find some of their best employees through their own workforce. This method of recruiting provides the advantage of deeper insight into a candidate’s potential than information gleaned from resumes, social media and interviews. Employees recommend people from their networks because they understand how they can benefit the company. Recruiting through current employees requires a positive corporate culture and working environment that employees recommend and enjoy promoting.
Once strong candidates are identified, managers must evaluate which ones have the best chance of succeeding in the new role. A great performer in another environment may be the wrong choice for the company, department or role. Managers can reduce the costs related to poor hiring decisions by employing the following interview techniques recommended by recruiting experts:
Identify qualities that can’t be taught. On-the-job training can remedy skill set deficiencies, but it has no power to instill honesty, work-ethic and a positive attitude. Many of the qualities that make employees successful are intrinsic to that person.
Ask the same questions to each candidate. This allows for precise comparisons and protects the company against discrimination claims.
Sharp interview skills don’t happen without experience. Practice sessions allow new managers to gain the experience to identify good hires.
Observe how candidates interact with others. This is especially important for jobs requiring team-based projects. Having candidates work on a group project shows the candidates social skills, personality traits and leadership ability. Alternatively, managers can assign team members to complete a project with a single candidate.
Avoid too much idle chatter. To better understand a candidate’s thinking, let him or her talk rather than trying to fill dead air in the conversation. When candidates must carry the conversation, filters get pushed aside and more revealing answers come forth.
Evaluate preparedness. By asking direct and challenging questions, interviewers can gauge how much effort candidates devoted to the process. Highly motivated candidates will shine when given the opportunity to overcome challenges. Candidates who wing it tend to stumble along with generic answers, a clear indication that the candidate failed to take the process seriously.
Create behavioral interview questions. These questions probe how candidates handled situations in the past. They reveal competencies and personality traits.
Resist the hypotheticals. Instead, ask behavioral interview questions that reveal how candidates dealt with certain situations in the past.
Pre-screen. Obvious bad choices can be screened out over the phone.
Request a presentation. This allows the interviewer to eliminate the awkwardness of the question/answer format and see how the candidate acts in a more natural situation.
These techniques greatly increase the odds of the right candidate accepting an offer. Good interview practices bring out what the candidate values about the opportunity and helps managers sell the prospect of accepting the position. By employing social media research and data analytics, companies create more effective interview processes that identify the strongest candidates.