Social Media: A Hiring Challenge

By Gabrielle Delmail
Cybersurveillance and Information Security Analyst

In 2015, nearly three out of every four adults in Québec (or 72.8%) were on social media. The increasing penetration of the Internet and the omnipresence of social media in everyday life inevitably creates e-reputation and staff recruitment challenges. What you post online can leave a trace for a very long time, even after being deleted, as it is generally impossible to learn who has used the information and how, and where it has been shared. Negative comments posted impulsively or in a fit of anger toward a person, colleague or employer may therefore resurface years later.

The wave of social media blurs the lines between private and public life and adds a new dimension to individuals’ professional profiles. It changes the work of HR, forcing them to rethink traditional hiring and promotion methods. According to a survey conducted by Jobvite in the US, more than one out of three employers admit to having rejected applicants based on information found on social media. Criminal background checks and references are no longer sufficient in analyzing potential employees. Nowadays, it is recommended to conduct a pre-employment screening on open sources such as social media to adequately determine candidates’ behaviours, relationships and opinions.

Commissionnaires is developing its Cybersurveillance and online reputation section to meet employers’ growing need for complete profiles using traces left via online activity. Through thorough analysis of open sources and the use of specialized tools, the Cybersurveillance team offers a variety of services, such as pre-hiring screenings, reputation screenings, relational analyses, and the monitoring of sites or targets in real time, and offers risk mitigating strategies for companies. The team also offers custom-made cyber-crime training.

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