If you’re in charge of choosing new employees for your organization, you already know the importance of a good reputation. The integration of our daily lives with our online lives continues to grow, showing no signs of slowing. In addition to this, the reputation of an organization online depends largely upon the reputation of the members that make up that organization. Because of this, who you hire can have a huge effect on the reputation of your business as a whole, making it imperative that you choose your team wisely. Here are a few quick ways to keep tabs on potential hires without spending too much time (or money) in the process:
- Google them. The easiest way to get the 30,000-foot overview is to take a look at what pops up when you do a Google search for the person in question’s name. Take a look at general sentiment, what kinds of sites they appear on, and how often their name seems to be associated with controversial content. If you have time, check out their current and past employers as well and make note of any commonalities. Note: If you are researching someone with a more common name, this may not be the most reliable source of information.
- Check their Twitter stream. If your potential hire has a Twitter account, you can find out a lot about them by simply scanning through their Twitter updates. Check grammar and spelling, language use, who they keep company with, and how they talk about their current job. Twitter can is a potential gold mine of information, both personal and professional. Be wary of anyone spewing anything that causes you to raise an eyebrow. Remember, if it grabs your attention, it will also grab the attention of your customers and your competition.
- Facebook search. Like Twitter, Facebook is an amazing source of information. Many people post photos, videos, and character revealing status updates without a second thought. Take a stroll through someone’s Facebook page, and you’ll likely get a fairly realistic representation of that person. As with Twitter, keep an eye on grammar, mannerisms, and what kinds of information they share on their page. Use your reactions to the information you find as a gauge to determine the level of appropriateness of their posts. Note: If you really want to dig deep, browse through their friends. Yes, we all have those cringe-worthy friends that we’d never do business with but we can’t help but love, but they should not make up one’s entire list of friends. On the other hand, if someone’s list reads more like a resume than a friend list, this may also be cause for questioning. Look for a good, realistic mix of friends, family, and professionals.
- Trackur. Oh come on now, you didn’t think we’d leave out the best tool for the job just because we have our name on it, did you? 😉 Instead of taking the time to search Google, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, why not just pop their name and current company into Trackur and let us do the work for you? Get updates of potential candidates’ mentions directly in your inbox; remove unwanted results with a simple click, and save the most important information to your dashboard. Trackur is a great resource for hiring managers who are interested in the integrity of potential candidates.
- Their own website. If your candidate has a blog or website, hopefully they have some sense about what they put on it. Browse through the site and see what they have to say, hopefully it meshes well with your business profile. Take into account your corporate code of conduct for Internet activity. Is this site something you’d be okay with an existing employee having? Would you be comfortable with a client stumbling across the site?
As you can see above, the collective theme here is common sense. Your applicant should balance their life online much like you’d hope they balance their life offline. This can vary depending on your corporate culture, so use your judgment on if what you find is acceptable or not. If something doesn’t sit right with you, be sure to address it before moving forward –the reputation of your company depends on it.