Preemployment Screening and Social Media

By Megan Gates

Screening can also help prevent employers from taking on a “catastrophic hire” that could do serious damage to their company. “We talk about the concept of a catastrophic hire—one person who blows up the cruise ship or misplaces an I-beam that causes a bridge to collapse—the idea that if you can even just screen out that one person who ends up doing a multiplier of negativity to your company, that’s also extremely valuable,” he says.

Of course, screening methods aren’t at a level of reliability that they can really ensure those bad apples will never get hired, but they may still help reduce the risk that they will be hired.

Most important is to look at the big picture—or the whole person—to assess their abilities, not just one aspect, such as social media presence, Handler said. “I really take what I call a big picture, or a whole person approach, where we use multiple tools staged within a process such that the entire process is set up in a way that supports layers of information that collectively build toward a picture of an applicant’s suitability for a job.”

Flickr photo by rutty



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