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Is Facebook a useful recruitment tool?

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SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Sustainability — tracks feedback from more than 17,000 CSR leaders. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter. This week’s analysis is provided by Elaine Cohen, a CSR expert at Beyond Business.

Last week, we asked: Do you review Facebook profiles as part of recruitment background checks?

  • No, we believe Facebook is personal and not relevant to recruitment decisions — 68.09%
  • Yes, we want to get to know the whole person — 19.15%
  • Yes, but this does not influence our recruitment decision — 2.13%
  • What’s Facebook? — 10.64%

Is Facebook useful as a recruitment tool? As more companies use social media as a recruiting tool, the debate rages on about the reciprocal use of social media to ascertain background information about candidates in the recruitment process. Some call it snooping; some say it’s risk minimization.

However, Ellen Weinreb, CEO of Sustainability Recruiting, a leader in executive search, says that using Facebook would “compromise the integrity of [her] search.” Over 68% of survey respondents appear to agree and regard Facebook as personal, whereas only 20% make use of insights that can be gained from candidates’ open, freely accessible and often very revealing Facebook activity.