Blogs: An accurate way of sussing a candidate?
Singapore - The immense popularity of online social networks and blogs in the new information age has allowed employers easy access to conduct background checks on potential candidates before hiring.
The internet is becoming a popular recruiting medium used by employers to attract the tech savvy Generation X and Y. On the other hand, it is also emerging as a way for employers to size up a candidate before an interview through their Facebook, MySpace, Friendster profiles or personal blogs.
According to Lorencz Tay, managing director of PeopleSearch, while internet background checks are one of the resources used, its effectiveness depends on the positions companies are hiring to fill.
Tay says, “It is hardly useful for highly niche and senior-level positions since it is not their culture to reveal their personal bio-data on the internet.”
While a bad hiring decision may put a dent on the company's budget and reputation, employee screening may not be an accurate test to judge the candidate’s capability and character.
Tay says “it is subjective and also dependent on the employer” as employee screening is just one of the channels used to assess a candidate’s consistency with the profile submitted to recruiters.
Applicants who worry employers are digging into pasts that have no relevance to their jobs need not worry.
“A person’s lifestyle usually reflects his or her personality, and if this is suitable to the career that the applicant is pursuing, we do not foresee any major concerns, Tay adds.”
On the other hand, potentially incriminating information such as drug abuse or raunchy pictures online may affect the candidate’s job prospects. Tay says they would not pursue the candidate if such information is revealed. It is left to the employer to decide if they still wish to continue pursuing the applicant.
Potential job applicants can still use the internet to their advantage though, as long as they are careful when expressing personal views. “Be very honest and optimistic about yourself. Avoid being too opinionated or try not to make any judgmental statements,” advises Tay.
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