What Your Potential Sales Rep’s Social Media May Reveal: A Guide for Hiring Managers

Recruiting potential candidates. What to look for on their social media accounts.

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By Samantha Neumann

60% of employers use social media as a means to screen potential job candidates, according to the recently released 2016 Social Media Recruitment Survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com. After polling some 2,000 hiring managers and Human Resources professionals, along with over 3,000 American workers, the study found that the majority of those responsible for bringing in new talent spend a significant amount of time scoping out social media pages for insight into a candidate’s digital life. Case in point: 49% of hiring managers and HR professionals reported that what they found on a candidate’s social media pages actually caused them to pass on the potential employee.

So, what’s the merit of a using social media to screen a potential sales rep or sales manager? Frankly, in this day and age, there’s a variety of meaningful information to be gleaned from a candidate’s online life. What might not be apparent on a sales rep’s resume or in an interview setting can be readily discovered by doing a quick online sweep. Make no mistake though, screening social media is not just about digging up dirt on a candidate. On the contrary, searching social media can corroborate an applicant’s professional qualifications and allow hiring managers to screen for future sales success.

In fact, results from the survey revealed: “Most hiring managers aren’t intentionally looking for negatives. Six in ten employers who currently use social networking sites to research job candidates (60 percent) are “looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job.”

This begs the question:  If you’re a hiring manager or HR professional in charge of bringing in sales superstars, why wouldn’t you use a candidate’s digital presence to best understand the potential of a new team member?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you review social media pages of sales candidates:

1. Look for Posts That Showcase Personality

If you’re in charge of hiring for a business where fitting into the company culture is a big plus, then scoping out a sales candidate’s profile to get a sense of their interests, tastes, and personality can go a long way in determining if he or she will fit well with the rest of your sales team.

2. Watch for Red Flags

Social media can be indispensably informative when it comes to weeding out candidates who’ve posted inflammatory or discriminatory material online. A candidate is not likely to divulge questionable behavior during an interview, but it may be apparent on his or her social media pages. This sort of background sweep can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

3. Check in on Communication Skills

How a sales professional presents him or herself on social media conveys more than just hobbies and personality, it can also reveal clues to a person’s communication skills. Sales candidates who convey a professional image in their online presence are likely to represent your company well.

4. Confirm the Facts

Lastly, social media sites can provide incredible access to previous employers to verify the material that a potential sales rep has listed on their resume or portfolio. This is necessary, because according to a 2015 CareerBuilder study of 2,000 HR professionals and hiring managers, an incredible 56% of higher managers found lies on candidates’ resumes.  To prevent falling prey to fraudulent resumes, a quick online confirmation, particularly through sites such as LinkedIn.com can help you easily weed out unqualified candidates who resume pad and would otherwise waste your time.

All in all, scanning the social media pages of a candidate for a sales position in your company, can be a valuable tool in a hiring manager’s arsenal when hunting for the perfect person to fill a position. As the influence of technology becomes more deeply engrained in our hiring processes, hiring managers and HR professionals can put the internet to good use in making wise, well-informed, and confident hiring decisions.

If you’re looking to recruit outstanding sales performers to join your team in 2017, contact us today. Grapevine Targeted Sales Recruiting has helped countless companies take their business to the next level by providing a painstakingly selective recruitment process to ensure that an outstanding sales professional is available to you for hiring.

Samantha Neumann is a professional sales recruiter at Grapevine – Targeted Sales Recruiting. Visit www.grapevinerecruiting.com , call 952.856.2371 or email samantha@grapevinerecruiting.com

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