How employers use social media to hire employees

by Emily Russo

How employers use social media to hire employees

“When screening job candidates…1 in 10 employers uses or has used social networking sites.” (Duffy, 1). Recently, employers are browsing potential employee’s personal social media pages to discover any related information that was not exposed in the interview. Some employer’s even declare that checking a potential candidate’s social networking site is basically a pre-interview process. Kashmir Hill of Forbes Magazine says, “If you don’t like a person there (on Facebook), you probably won’t like working with them.” According to’s survey, 63% of managers who used social networking websites did not hire the person based on the negative things they found on their profile. Dan Schawbel of Time Magazine says, “They are using these networks to fish where the fish are.” Employers are using these networks to find potential employees because that’s where they spend the majority of their time. With the outstanding number of people interacting with social media websites every day, employers are searching for potential employees in the all the right places. Social media is now being used as an effective source to assess potential employee’s professionalism, personality, level of intelligence, or, in many cases, lack thereof.

Facebook is a social networking website where users can create personal profiles, share photos and statuses, and communicate with their family, friends, classmates, and coworkers. Facebook was launched in February 2004 and by September 2012, there were over one billion users. Facebook also allows users to create pages for their businesses which can be easily connected with their personal pages. People are connecting with their local and favorite businesses, to allow businesses and employers to have access to view their personal pages. Out of the top three networks, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Facebook saw the biggest gain in overall usage by recruiters to seek out potential candidates. Facebook profiles provide a variety of personal information that the employer would not have been able to obtain without browsing their personal page. However, employers don’t always find good things for which their decisions are based. In many cases, there are profiles that have inappropriate pictures involving alcohol, illegal substances, and crude behavior. When these types of pictures are brought to the attention of an employer, it signifies a red flag. Employers would prefer to see photos of involvement with local charities or pictures with family, indications that they are well-rounded, responsible members of society. When applicants post pictures of these inappropriate actions, managers typically get turned off and question their capability of working for their company. Facebook has become a part of our culture, so now, more than ever, people are being held accountable for the way they represent themselves in their profiles (6). While there are a lot of advantages of Facebook, there are a few disadvantages. Some recruiters may not be able to find a particular candidate because their Facebook page may be hidden due to strict privacy settings. Some candidates may not even have a Facebook profile, and if they do, they may only use it to communicate with old friends and not post personal information. Facebook is not the only useful social media tool for hiring candidates; Twitter has recently become another useful way to find potential employees.

Twitter was launched in July 2006 by Jack Dorsey. As of 2012, this social networking website had over 500 million users. Twitter is a website that allows people to “tweet,” which is a way to create a post or status, while keeping it under 140 characters. Twitter is a fast paced application, where an individual will normally tweet 2 or 3 times a day. Twitter is a personal website, but has recently expanded into the business world as well. Recruiters are now looking up candidate’s Twitter profiles to gain knowledge outside of the interview. In 2012, more than half of recruiters used Twitter as a part of their talent search. Companies are using Twitter to post job openings in hopes that their potential applicants will be following their company as well as their employees. Some are even using third party companies such as Twit Job Search and Tweet My Jobs to promote listings (Schawbel 2). Only 15% of recruiters have hired a candidate while using Twitter, because there are more disadvantages than advantages. One of the largest disadvantages is that there is only a 140-character limit, which limits what people, can “tweet”. Secondly, posts have a low shelf life because of the immense traffic amongst Twitter; people are posting a status every few minutes. While Twitter is very helpful in sorting through job applicants, LinkedIn, which is basically like an online resume, is also very useful.

LinkedIn was launched on May 5, 2003 and has more than 200 million users in over 200 countries. LinkedIn was created for professional networking but has grown to so much more. People use LinkedIn to keep in touch with co-workers as well as people in their networking groups. Recently, employers have been using this website to hire employees. Approximately 89% of employers have hired through LinkedIn and often use a beneficial tool called LinkedIn Recruiter. A huge advantage of LinkedIn is that employers can view the professionals with which the candidate currently connects. Most recently, business connections seem to provide a much higher chance to be considered for employment; more frequently, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Most employers will only take an applicant seriously if they provide a complete profile and display extensive involvement, community, and education accomplishments. However, on the downside, LinkedIn can be time consuming and cumbersome, as it is necessary to connect with colleagues before sending messages. After extensive research on the top three social media networks, Rosen and Kluemper wrote an article about a study they conducted about the impact of the big five personality traits through social media.

In 2008, Rosen and Kluemper performed a study called “The Impact of the Big Five Personality Traits on the Acceptance of Social Networking Website.” During the study, researchers had a group of people complete a personality questionnaire frequently used by companies to gauge the big five personality traits: openness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. The subjects then allowed a team of three researchers to access their Facebook profiles. The researchers viewed at their profiles and answered questions that were similar to the ones that the group of people before filled out. The researchers then calculated two personality scores per person: one based on the responses from the subject, and the second based on the responses from the raters. Based on the five specific classifications, the researchers found that each one impacted the subject on technology differently. Agreeableness is associated with traits of courtesy, flexibility, trustworthiness, forgiving, etc. Researchers found that individuals that are agreeable, are more likely to contemplate social networking technology as valuable, as it would help them foster their personal relationships with others. Openness to experience is associated with traits of curiousness, originality, intelligence, etc. Since these types of people are more curious than others, communicating with friends and co-workers should be appealing to these them. Extroversion is associated with traits of sociability, talkativeness, activeness, etc. Since these individuals are assertive and social, social networking would be another way to assert themselves and be quite useful. Conscientious is associated with traits of responsible, organized, planful, etc. Conscientiousness people are persistent and are better capable of following directions. They would find that social networking is easier to use than others. Neuroticism is associated with traits of anxiety, worry, insecurity, etc.  People who are neurotic have trouble trying new experiences and are more likely to have problems with social networking or simply want to avoid this technology completely (Rosen and Kluemper 4-5). While this study is helpful in understanding the ins and outs of the social media world, there are many other factors to consider.

Social media sites help filter out unprofessional candidates, as hiring new employees has become more and more expensive. In the study conducted by Rosen and Kluemper, they found that the traits of conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability are the top three traits employers look for in future employees. An employer can make a judgment just by looking at an applicant’s profile. That’s why it is crucial that applicants create their personal brand in a positive way. On the contrary, social media websites have become more of a negative and controversial issue. Some believe it is unjust to obtain information about someone without their consent. However, when one displays personal information on the Internet, they are then making it public information. Others think social media websites are a waste of time and don’t think they help finding a job. Nevertheless, if an employer goes to look for a potential employee’s social profile and cannot locate one, they may think the applicant is irrelevant or trying to hide something. A major social media feaux pas is spelling and grammar mistakes. Interestingly, according to hiring managers, poor grammar and spelling mistakes are worse (54%) social networking sins than posting about a binge-drinking adventure (Schawbel 1).

Throughout this past decade, social media has taken over our society. People are making these websites a part of their daily routine. Some feel the need to update the cyber world on every little thing that they do. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow users to update their friends’ lives through the use of pictures, status’s, and accomplishments. Without these three social networks, our society would be changed completely. Employers would not be able to see what these potential applicants do “after hours” and be able to determine if they are the right fit for their company (To Tag or not to Tag, 4).

Works Cited

Duffy, Eileen. “Employers Use Facebook in Hiring Process.” The Observer. College

Media Network, 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

“Facebook.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Hill, Kashmir. “Facebook Can Tell You If A Person Is Worth Hiring.” Forbes. Forbes

Magazine, 05 Mar. 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.

Hook, Lauren, and Brandon Rathke. “Facebook Used as a Recruiting Tool.” Journal of Student


Research. University of Wisconsin-Stout, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.


King, Joe. “Facebook Beats Personality Tests for Predicting Job Success, NIU Management


Professor Finds.” NIU Today. Northern Illinois University, 20 Feb. 2012. Web. 27 Mar.




“Linked in.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Miller-Merrell, Jessica. “How Recruiters Are Using Social Media to Hire & Recruit Top

Talent.” Secrets of the Job Hunt. Word Press, 31 Jan. 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2013

Roberts, S.J., & Roach, T. (2009). Social Networking Websites and Human Resource Personnel:

Suggestions for job searches. Business Communication Quarterly, 72(1), 110-114.

Rosen, Peter A., and Donald H. Kluemper. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Americas

Conference on Information Systems. America’s Conference on Information Systems, Toronto, ON. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 2-9. AIS Electronic Library. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

Schawbel, Dan. “How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make Hiring Decisions Now.”

Business and Money. Time, 09 July 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

“Twitter.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.


Pinterest for Business

By Emily Russo

“(They say) it takes someone seeing your name three times to notice you and seven times to remember you. Pinterest is just another one of those tools for us to reach our audience” (Vining 1). Pinterest is a website that allows you to “pin” pictures on your specifically themed board to “re-pin” with other users. Pinterest was launched in 2009 with 26 million visitors and created by Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann. Pinterest has been benefiting graphically oriented businesses since November of 2012. It is different than any other social media website.

A major reason why Pinterest is better than Facebook and Twitter is because a pin can resurface weeks later when someone notices it and pins it. Instead, Facebook and Twitter posts get moved down the news feed as new ones are posted; they can get lost a lot easier. Another reason Pinterest is much different than any other social media site is because people are mainly posting for themselves and not others.

Kristin Vining of Kristin Vining Photography describes Pinterest as “a domino effect. One person tags it, then BAM, pinning and pinning and pinning…(People are) seeing your name over and over again” (Vining 1). Pinterest is just another way for companies to advertise for free and get their name out there. Meghan Peters, a community manager at Mashable, says the reason Pinterest does well is because they offer new ways to promote your business that other sites haven’t been able to discover.

Pinterest can also improve your business. On your website or any other social media website you can make a “pin it” button on your photo. People can then pin it directly to their themed board. More people are able to see a photo when the picture is pinned directly from the website onto a Pinterest board. For example, I will see a beautiful wedding dress on a bridal website and hit the “pin it” button and it goes straight to my Pinterest account where I can assign it to a particular board.

PinAlerts is a great tool to understand your target demographic. It’s a way for you to monitor what is being pinned from your website. It also allows you to conduct research on who is pinning, how old they are, and there gender.

Pinterest is continuing to grow every day. A new idea that the company plans to unveil this year is called “suggestions”. It is a way for people to discover other content after pinning a photo. For example, if someone adds a picture of a swimsuit they may see a “suggestion” for a Hawaiian resort. Also, coming this year, Pinterest plans to launch an international website. They are also working hard to improve their mobile apps features, like installing a camera and integrate on the go content like photos. They also want to introduce new data-analytics tool for companies to keep track of their Pinterest traffic and see how users are interacting with their content. Evan Sharp, co-founder of Pinterest, says in 2013 they want to be a service that is highly personalized. He wants to try to make the website easier to use and understand. With 31 million worldwide visitors per month, it needs to be “a piece of cake”.

7 free ways to get more likes on your Facebook fan page

I get this question often: “How do I get more fans/likes on my business Facebook page?” There are lots of answers, but I prefer to start with these 7 FREE ways to increase likes:

  1. Include a link to your Facebook fan page in your email signature.
  2. Include the Facebook logo on business cards and brochures.
  3. Invite your personal Facebook friends to like your page.
  4. Talk about your page and ask current and potential customers to like it.
  5. Email your database to let your contacts know you have a Facebook page; provide a link to it in your email.
  6. For “brick and mortarbusinesses– create a special offer (example: 10% off today’s purchase when you like our Facebook page) so customers will like your page while at your retail location.
  7. Ask employees, referral partners, and friends to share your page with their Facebook friends.

These simple actions can really pay off once executed. Do you have any tips I forgot to include?


A Big Thank You from the “Little Volunteers!”

We had an overwhelming response to the request for craft supplies- thanks to everyone for your help!! The kids made beautiful, funny, creative, and thoughtful Christmas cards to be sent to recipients of “Feedy the Needy” along with a box of food on Christmas morning.

What a great group of kids! We sang carols, told stories, laughed at jokes, and cheered every time a card was completed and landed in the box.

One of the cards, by an 8-year-old girl, read “I hope the food can help you.” Inside she drew a large yellow star with googly eyes – as she was planning her card, she explained, “see, the eyes are looking down, I’m going to draw the manger down here.”

Another child, an 8 year old boy wise beyond his years, was full of jokes 🙂 “What did Adam say? Merry Christmas Eve!” Precious.

I’d say mission accomplished 🙂 Thanks again to everyone who contributed!

“Little Volunteers” Craft Supply Donations

ATTN: Covington/Mandeville area residents:
I am requesting your support for a small project that aims to make a big difference by exposing children to meaningful volunteerism. All I need from you is a craft supply or two…
The Covington Rotary Club will be providing a new, special opportunity for children to volunteer at Feeding the Needy this year. Children will be making cards for the recipients of the 1,500 turkeys that will be distributed to needy families on Christmas Day. The children will also make Thank You cards to be sent to supporters of Feeding the Needy.
I’m working to establish a mini-craft supply collection to hopefully be used this year and in the future to give kids a chance to contribute meaningfully to needy families and gracious donors. This is where you come in 🙂
donate craft suppplies for little
As you are pulling out your Holiday gear this season, please keep an eye out for the items listed below and attached or anything else that could be used to make a card! Items do not need to be new; recycled items are actually preferred.
If you would like to donate to the “Little Volunteers” craft supplies, please drop items off at Campbell’s Coffee and Tea on Hwy. 21 in Covington.
Also, if you are interested in volunteering to help the children make cards on 12/23 or 12/24, please sign up to volunteer by visiting
Cash donations are also accepted and will be used toward the purchase of items for this project.
Let me know if you have any questions- Thanks & Merry Christmas!!


Wisdom Teeth – less

Not my normal subject matter, but all too relevant in my life right now!

wisdom teeth removal smoothie recipe5 days ago, all 4 of my wisdom teeth were extracted. I heard so many terrible things about this procedure…but I found a few little things that hopefully will help someone out:

1. Spoons are important!! I wish I had a plastic baby spoon the first day instead of using a normal (silverware) spoon – it made the heat and cold go straight to where it hurt so I didn’t really eat anything that day. They said no straws, nothing too hot, etc….which didn’t leave much! (I still haven’t eaten with a fork after 5 days).

2. My lifesaver = Wisdom Smoothies! Here’s my easy recipe:

Blend ice, strawberries (fresh or frozen), banana, vanilla yogurt, some protein or smoothie powder if you have any (if not, it will still taste good!), and possibly some milk depending on how thick you want it.


I’ve paid $8/day for a smoothie at Smoothie King, but they were closed today…this one tastes almost as good and costs much less.

Much better than lukewarm soup!!

Facebook Marketing Guide for Small and Medium Businesses

Facebook recently released an excellent guide for businesses with information about best practices for Facebook strategy and execution.

Download the PDF by clicking here.

facebook marketing and strategy guide for small businesses