Whether you are an employer, recruiter or employee you can bet Facebook can play a part in your role. Recently I needed to retain a contractor to help with some coding. I had been through my normal channels and needed to go outside so I went through a freelancing service which I have used in the past. I narrowed down from 68 applicants to 5 and then from 5 down to 2 by using some quickly written “tests” to see if (a) they understood the task and (b) could quickly solve it.
Once I finally narrowed down to the last two I began to research them to see what was available. I found both of them quickly online – within 10 seconds. Both of them have open (public) Facebook pages. One is apparently “just a normal kid” and likes all the type of music, art, television and other pop-culture you would expect of a 26 year old in today’s world. Likewise the other candidate demonstrates all of the same attributes except he adds an obvious love for his profession.
The second candidate posts several photos of his association with his computer engineers society, school events and much more. I also found out quite a bit about his family, friends and love for nature just by looking at his Facebook page.
After doing this bit of searching and sending a couple of last email messages I decided to hire the second one I describe and he will begin immediately. This inspired me to write a post about using Facebook to vet or even locate prospective contractors and employees. Imagine my surprise when I opened my Facebook to do a little research and found what is featured in the image at the top of my stream.
This young lady obviously was unhappy in her previous employment. She was so excited to have quit and been “freed from the slavery” she decided to post it on Facebook along with an interesting little twist. Now as I read this I read it not as a “friend” but as a prospective employer. See if you think this would be good to find if you at just about to offer this person a position with your company.
As employers you can find plenty of information on public profiles and there are ways to get information even from private profiles. For the last one you’ll just need to use a little imagination and it may take a little longer. For Facebook users this could serve as a warning to remember you’re leaving your public, or at best semi-private, diary for everyone and anyone to read.
Writing about an existing employer is something everyone should understand and with the mounting number of stories of that not ending well people are learning. What they may not understand, as is presented in an obvious manner here, is future employers or recruiters are going to read what you wrote about past employers as well.
Think, think, think, post.