Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Using Social in Hiring-Silly Season?

Continuing my observations on the use of social technologies (media) in the recruiting and hiring process, today is a note on why taking a strategic and systemic approach will save time, money and potentially legal actions.

Susan Avello at HR Virtual Cafe posted her perspective on using Klout to screen job applicants, a practice that appears to be rumour based at this point.http://hrvirtualcafe.com/2012/07/31/using-klout-to-screen-job-applicants/

If recruiters and hiring managers are using Klout as a measure of an applicants 'influence' it is a practice they need to rethink, quickly. As I do with many new products, I signed up with Klout as often the best way to understand something is to use it. I found that it showed I had 'influence' in categories that I had never posted anything online about and know next to nothing about; it did not include categories that I frequently post about and in some cases have quite a lot of knowledge (or opinions) about and that the 'score' is based more on how often one posts than the quality of ones content. In other words you don't need to have any particular knowledge or expertise, you simply need to take the time to schedule mega numbers of postings to get "Klout" scores that suggest you are 'influential' in social media.

Using such poorly constructed scoring systems in any way in the recruiting and hiring process really does move us into the silly season. Quality over quantity counts in many areas of life and in the hiring process that is still important. I am still waiting for the 'influence' product that takes quality into the equation, then it may be time to take notice. Until then, leave the Klout scores for amusement and keep them out of the hiring process.

Have you ever experienced or heard of a recruiter or hiring manager using Klout scores as part of the evaluation process? Have you heard of any other similar products being used in this manner?


  1. I am unfamiliar with Klout but have read articles that HR professionals consider looking at a candidate's Facebook and possibly even LinkedIn is unethical. I tend to agree. LinkedIn not so much as it seems more a professional network whereas Facebook is personal. In Canada HR professionals fought to remove things like a photograph as it was discriminatory. I'll have to check Klout out.

  2. Brenda, checking out Klout is a good idea if for no other reason that to get a practical picture of how it works and what the scores really mean. The other similar product is Peer Index, which is slightly better than Klout but not much-again they showed me as influential regarding topics I don't know anything about. These products are really in a development phase and have a long way to go to ever meet the value they are aiming for; for most people who are involved in the recruiting and hiring process it makes sense to at least understand what the different products are to avoid misuse.

    LinkedIn is a professional network and in more and more companies it is used as a supplement (and in a few as a replacement) for the traditional resume. I expect that over the next few years we will see a significant shift to using LinkedIn or similar networks as a core part of the hiring practice in more and more organizations. From a recruiters point of view a properly completed LinkedIn profile provides a much better snapshot of a candidate than traditional resumes do. The sticking point for many may well be the photo in the profile - however the more global an operation the less that becomes an issue. In many countries a photo is commonly included with an application.

    Let me know what your thoughts are on Klout once you have a chance to check it out. They do updates which are intended to overcome the problems noted but so far they are still a long way from accurate.

  3. Great article. A lot to think about for the coming year. And yes I agree that the big "known unknown" of 2013 is the next social hiring that will pop up out of nowhere but be quickly embraced by many.