The Social Media Dilemma: When It Comes to Hiring, Will It Work For You or Against You?


Social media has revolutionized recruiting, both for the talent acquisition professional and for the candidate. But, every story does not have a happy ending.

Fotolia_104269194_S.jpgLaremy Tunsil is a football player – specifically a tackle from Ole Miss who was expected to go very high in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Tunsil ended up being drafted No. 13 by the Miami Dolphins, lower than expected. But during the first round of the draft, pictures and videos were posted to Tunsil’s Twitter account which called into question his potential use of marijuana. Then a few minutes later, images posted to his Instagram account alleged NCAA infractions.

According to Sports Illustrated, the difference between being drafted at the very top of the first round and going at No. 13 is the difference between a contract forecasted at approximately $25 million vs. one for approximately $12 million.

To be clear, Tunsil claims his accounts were hacked. The Miami Dolphins, who drafted him, took him at his word. (Meanwhile, the NCAA is investigating.)

Social media can work for you - or against you

Remember: Social media is REAL TIME, and it changes outcomes in a material way.

You may think you have the perfect candidate for a role, who has been thoroughly vetted, but you never know when social media is going to fundamentally change things very publicly. It can happen at any time.

Have you heard the story of Laremy Tunsil yet? If you are a candidate for a new job, or will be any time in the near future, you need to understand his story and learn from it. If you work in talent acquisition, you need to know his story too.

Your recruitment process is likely not as highly visible as the NFL Draft. However, maintaining brand integrity has never been more critical.

The key is using social media to your advantage. Get in front of it. And by all means, do your homework on your candidates. Leave no social media stone unturned.

What organizations are using to recruit

The April edition of HR Magazine focuses on not only using social media, but using it on mobile devices. According to their survey, the most common recruitment tools made mobile include:

  • Application processes  -- 36 percent;
  • Job postings -- 36 percent;
  • Career websites -- 39 percent;

When asked which social media sites the organizations used for recruiting in 2015, they said:

  • LinkedIn -- 96 percent;
  • Facebook -- 66 percent;
  • Twitter -- 53 percent.

You'll lose out if you're not ready

Of the 5 Big Recruiting Trends cited by HR Magazine, organizations must work diligently on their recruitment processes to ensure job seekers can easily find and apply for open positions. A lengthy and tedious application process and lack of engagement from recruiters cause you to lose your candidates.

Unlike the NFL Draft, most organizations do not have a ready supply of talent lining up knocking on their door. You must prepare on your side to be ready when the candidates apply.
Passive Candidates Guide

About The Author

Betsy Winkler is Partner at PeopleResults, a human capital consultancy focusing on change, organization, talent and communications/new media. She has been working as a business consultant and change leader for 20 years, and previously led the Change Leadership Center of Excellence for PepsiCo. Contact her at