Social media and internet monitoring in the hands of HR

10 September 2018, Robert Sadowski

How to use the internet and social media to verify and recruit the best candidates for the company? Most often, we put everything into the network as it goes – recruiters can use such data as they want. Especially if they are publicly available. Not everyone is aware of the consequences of their activities. Not everyone sets the priv status of what he uploads on social media platforms. And every entry leaves a mark that can be interpreted in its own way. Especially when we are looking for a new job. Then HR managers and headhunters enter the world of this data.

Never before reaching the candidate and assessing his actions was so easy. Even the fact that someone does not have social profiles at all can have its dimension in the eyes of HR Manager. And how to reach such key data, not to spend weeks at the recruitment project? Preferably using search engines and media monitoring tools (Newspoint). If you need a deeper analysis, you can also try to access the influencers (ReachaBlogger, Whitepress). Influeners can also take on interesting orders.

Research conducted by Lee Hecht Harrison DBM Polska in 2017 shows that 95% of recruiters in Poland use data obtained from social media to search for job candidates. Every day it does up to 77 percent. headhunters and 35 percent. internal recruiters. 62% verify the content posted by the candidate on private websites and 59% verify the opinions of employees and candidates about the company. On average, every third recruiter decided to reject the candidate under the influence of content found on private social networks.

Polish recruiters have an average account on 3.4 social networks. LinkedIn has the greatest recognition, with a 96% participation in recruitment. GoldenLine uses 84%, Facebook 40%, Twitter 12% and Instagram only 1%. HR Managers can be also recommended platforms such as Xing, Viadeo and Glassdoor.

The research showed the importance of social media for both interested parties. HR Managers receive fast and often free access to many valuable candidates and data about their status and activities. Candidates (present and future) sharing their content, lajkując and sharing others work to their advantage or on the contrary – reduce the chance of joining the ranks of new employers. The eye of a great HR brother sees everything.

Social media will tell you the truth about the candidate

Well, since social media is so important and so exploited by recruiters, what data can HR reach and what conclusions can be drawn from?

  • reaching a particular candidate through his profiles;
  • frequent or missing profile updates;
  • determination of education, experience, training, and interests;
  • the dates of start and end of projects;
  • student internships;
  • interest groups during studies;
  • participation in various organizations, clubs and associations;
  • participation in webinars, conferences and courses;
  • participation in specific discussions;
  • checking strange entries such as Nobility does not work, Eternal student;
  • critical comments, trolling and hating;
  • lifestyle, political and tourist preferences;
  • sports activity (results) and charity;
  • readership – there is a difference in what exactly and how much we read;
  • ways to communicate.


All this data can get the recruiter to encourage the person to interview or present the project or plot it from the group’s target.

The photos we are on

What can reveal the picture? It often happens that for some reasons there are no photos of candidates in the applications. The appearance can change a lot. In some companies, a red mohawk, nose ring or big tattoo will be unacceptable and in other positions stylish and defiant garments may decide to invite for an interview.

Frequent inserting of unpalatable photos from alcohol-drunk parties may bury the candidate’s chances. Some show in the pictures themselves alone and others show themselves in the group. Introverts versus extroverts. The photos will show with which candidate we are dealing.

Frequent appearances at business conferences or photos with industry celebrities may turn out to be a shot in 10. Having key friends can bring many benefits to the future employer.

Candidates active in sports showing the fighting spirit, sharp claw, perseveringly aiming at the goal in certain professions will be more sought after than quiet and non-leaning people. Or maybe you fold origami or complicated integrated circuits? Creativity is included.

Expert comment:

“Today, it is generally difficult to imagine a world without Internet. In many areas of private and professional life it seems to be irreplaceable.

This is also the case in our world – the world of Executive Search. Young reaserchers can not imagine how in the early 90s we were dealing with direct search for Candidates for work? What were we doing when not only the Internet was not there, not to mention social media, but when there were no mobile phones, and the landlines belonged to luxury?

I remember how my then boss, the President of H. Neumann International, brought “news from the USA” – he said that there professional profiles of people in the business world are made public by them. In Poland at the time, such openness seemed very original and in our strongly mysterious culture, rather unlikely.

How much has changed since then, we see ourselves every day. Today, primarily LinkedIn, but also other social networking sites is one of the basic tools of recruitment work, although we, at PSI Polska, also reach such people, being very valuable professionally, but they do not promote this fact in any media social networks. This requires the use of old good practices, in which the Internet is also very helpful today.

More and more attention is paid to the conscious building of your brand in social media. It is about the right selection of places in which we place your profile, as well as a well-thought-out and accurately included content of word information and images that represent us. Increasingly, specialists creating content and visualization are used to build these profiles. And we are not talking about being a person, but rather about marking your presence in order to be found. It is worth presenting yourself with the best side, so as not to miss the chance to work, which we care about – the once-repeated principle of “Sit in the corner – you will find” is already out of date!

It is also worth bearing in mind that not only profiles are important, but also articles and photos that we publish on the Internet, as well as posts that we lard or share. Recruiters are trying to highlight potential candidates by analyzing their online activity, taking into account not only what, but also to what extent and at what time they deal with it. For example, a person who is very active in private topics on Facebook during working hours can only be judged negatively for this reason.

We also had a case when the young manager, who was very positively evaluated by our client during the direct interview, had on the Internet a lot of his “very entertaining” photos. Unfortunately, it resulted in a change in the Customer’s opinion, which became convinced that it is still too immature … We also had an example of getting a very positive opinion about another person, mainly based on the analysis of content that she promoted on different social networks. Such analysis can be done either by painstakingly searching for data “by hand” or by using specialized tools or companies.

It is worth taking into account when we sit down to the Internet ?. “

Jadwiga Kuczkowska

Partner Zarządzający

PSI Polska


Non-standard activities

Many companies have a big problem with acquiring specialized staff. Placing job advertisements alone is no longer enough, even though it is the most popular form of looking for employees. It is very difficult to find the right candidates. Custom actions are needed. And it’s social networks that make it easier to run such campaigns. From the selection stage to verification and referring friends.

However, to make headhunting activities in social media even more fruitful, access to networking sites could be cheaper (even more people will benefit from advanced options on paid platforms) and searches even less time-consuming. If, for example, the prices of business Premium accounts on LinkedIn, the HR department is not affected, so to improve and time-consuming certain processes already. Data analysis in one Panel for social media monitoring makes task much easier and faster. Unfortunately, it’s worth mentioning that the LinkedIna creators make it very difficult for external applications to automatically index data. Luckily, it’s different with other platforms, blogs or forums.

What else can you gain thanks to social media? We reach passive candidates who would not have sent their CV at the moment and would not see the job offer on the classifieds website. We are increasing the number of applications. We get to managers, specialists and experts, which we can immediately verify – the quality of candidates is improved. We receive commands from others. Employee command programs work very effectively.

Newspoint Study

Media monitoring Newspoint conducted a research of how often, over the last 3 years and where exactly the phrase “I’m looking for a job” appeared. It turned out that the share of social networking sites is growing every year. It is there that most users inform about job search (increase in share from 30% to 71%). All at the expense of online forums – a decrease from 59% to 19%. In sum, this phrase appeared almost the same number of times in the periods studied. This research shows how big the potential in communities is and how much the share of individual players is changing. It is worth noting that the chart lacks blogs, but the searched phrase appeared below 0.5%.

Front to the candidate

Only a few years ago, the most important activity of the employer branding companies was to maintain the Career tab on the website, create attractive talent programs and participate in job fairs. Today, it is very important to actively conduct such activities through profiles in social media. From Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, GoldenLine, photos on Google Maps, videos from events on YouTube and photos on Instagram and Pinterest. It is not enough once to create such a company profile and leave it. Frequent updates are counted. Taking part in the discussion. Respond to doubts. Commenting and like other entries. Showing a nice, friendly atmosphere and constant changes and development of the company. New technologies. Workers’ life after hours. The number of possibilities is enormous and limited only by the creativity of HR Manager or other person managing profiles.

What to do to keep all these accounts under control and not to delay the reaction to queries? It’s best to use media monitoring tools and tools for automatic publication on different profiles. As soon as there is interaction – alerts will alert us and allow a quick response. There is nothing worse than the lack of contact from the employer. In this case, it’s better not to have an account at all. Instead of the expected benefits, we will suffer image losses.

The second group are websites with GoWork, GoldenLine and opinions, where companies are evaluated by former and current employees and often visited by candidates. People are more likely to criticize than praise. It is worth to monitor these entries and respond quickly to the unjust criticism and answer the questions asked there. The monitoring of the media and the setting of appropriate notifications will help very quickly in capturing new entries.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning two aspects. Reliability of the information provided and reliability of the update. Just as fake news circulates in the news world, some people may post unreliable information about themselves. Not everyone immediately after changing a job or doing an interesting course will make the right changes on your profile on the social media platform. And sometimes people play on time and deliberately after leaving one job, before they find a new one, they do not update. But it can also give recruiters a chance to think.

People publishing public content – texts, photo and video in social media must remember that all this can work to their advantage or disadvantage. They are like a business card, reflection in the mirror or a portfolio to which everyone has access. Not every recruit will be able to catch and understand a stupid joke or tomfoolery. Sometimes it is worth considering or showing yourself in such a light. Will not we lose this one chance? On the other hand HR Managers get access to an enormous database of candidates. Using various tools to assess candidates, spreadsheets, search engines and media monitoring, they are able to reach the narrow target group and make the right choice. Social media is big data for the HR world.

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