In the hiring process, once you’ve got a group of seemingly qualified candidates, the temptation may arise to simply take their resume (and interview, if you’ve gotten that far) at face value and move on to the next stage. A word of advice: Don’t.
More companies than would care to admit have stories of hires whose resumes and backgrounds revealed more fiction than fact — and the cost of letting an employee go and then replacing that person can put a dent in your budget, your time, and possibly your reputation. A great and relatively easy way to check the consistency of candidates’ resumes is through LinkedIn.
First of all, if the person doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, has only posted a name, or has a scant or incomplete profile, take note. LinkedIn is used by millions of people – why hasn’t your candidate taken advantage of it? It also suggests he’s not entirely media- or tech-savvy; most people going for jobs today understand that employers check their social media profiles, and that goes beyond Facebook and Twitter feeds. The candidate today who doesn’t have a full LinkedIn profile that, at the very least, mirrors his resume, might not be the person you’re looking for.
Next, look at their LinkedIn profile and check it against the resume. Check for resume padding: Does the candidate claim she’s vice-president of her division on paper but only a junior manager online? Is that four-year college actually a two-year stint that never saw completion? Are duties exaggerated when comparing one to the other? While this doesn’t necessarily mean you toss that candidate into the “no” pile, it bears questioning. Some job seekers don’t pad to be deliberately deceptive; they just think they’ve done more than they have.
You can also use LinkedIn to see if you have any mutual connections. A shared connection may be able to give you some insight into the candidate, and tell you if he’s as qualified as he claims. Simply another version of checking references, LinkedIn can connect you with someone the candidate may not have chosen but who can give you good insight into his background – and any skeletons hiding in the closet.
You should also check their profile to see if a candidate has any recommendations listed on her profile from former employers, co-workers, or clients she worked with in the past. These are a good way to see if the candidate’s claims live up to the truth.
While LinkedIn shouldn’t necessarily make or break your choice of hiring a candidate, considering 69 percent of employers have chosen not to hire someone based on a profile on a social networking site, it’s a good idea to check it out. For further hiring advice, visit PrideStaff.