Should You Look into a Potential Candidate’s Social Media Before Hiring?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / March 2, 2013

Facebook ProfileWhen looking at a candidate for hire, there are more tools available now than ever before for determining if that candidate might be a right fit. With a myriad of social media sites with which candidates engage regularly, from LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter, there is a lot you can learn about your future hire even prior to an interview. In fact, according to an article on, 77% of recruiters perform internet searches on candidates, so you wouldn’t be alone in doing so.

The fact is that a great deal of information can be garnered from performing an online search on a candidate, and you have nothing at all to lose in doing so.

Here are some of the things you can learn about a candidate by looking into their social media presence:


Does that LinkedIn profile match up with the resume your candidate submitted, or are there inconsistencies? Think of the pain you can avoid up front by finding out if your candidate is a fraud.

Don’t get trapped by a fraud. Verify that the resume at least matches up with the LinkedIn profile.

Communication style.

How does your candidate compose herself in an online setting? What do her reviews of others look like on LinkedIn? How articulate is she in her blog? Are her Tweets professional and positive?

Verify your candidate’s communication capabilities by evaluating her social media presence.

What do others think?

What do her reviews from former coworkers say on LinkedIn? How are people responding to her in forums and on her blog, if she has one? Generally, what others are saying online about your candidate will give you a good sense for how your employees might respond to her, as well. It is worth careful consideration if you see negative reviews of your candidate from former coworkers and even friends.


You want to be sure your candidate is media-savvy and actually does have social media presence and profiles. This is a way to denote relevance and tech-savvy at a minimum.

Seeing how the candidate comports herself in these profiles, the types of pictures she uses, and with what frequency she seems to utilize social media can be indicative of many things. While you want her to be modern, you also don’t want to observe that she seems to be on these social media sites all day long when she is supposed to be working.


If a candidate has a bad online reputation, this could reflect very poorly on you. What if your customer runs a search on your candidate because they are interacting down the road? Your customer sees what you see. Make sure whatever is seen is what you are comfortable with having reflected upon your business.

It’s never a bad idea to look into your candidate’s social media presence before hiring. You can see how your candidate handles perception management and what others are saying about your candidate, you can cross-check their employment history with the resume you received, and you can learn a bit about how tech-savvy your employee is.

You have everything to gain in taking a few extra moments before that next interview (or before pulling the trigger on a hire) and conducting a quick online search on your candidate.

Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from online reputation management on behalf of to digital marketing strategy.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.