Social media profiles

What can social media profiles tell us about cultural fit?

My Verification Service (MVS) has partnered with Revelian to offer psychometric assessments as part of their suite of verification and background checking tools.

 

In this guest blog, Daniel Sheahan, CEO of MVS, talks about how social media profiles can help employers identify whether candidates are likely to be a good cultural fit for the role and the organisation.

 


 

As a background check company, psychometric testing is an important aspect of the services we offer our clients, to help them select the right candidate for the role.

 

While most of us would be familiar with the traditional reference checks and psychological assessments, there is also an emerging trend to really look closely at cultural fit, given the importance of working in teams that may have a mix of values from a variety of generations, baby boomers through to Gen Z.

 

Defining the culture of an organisation, and then the definition of what would be a harmonious fit, is now top of mind for many HR execs and their teams. This is a solid trend, and we see the newer titles such as Head of People and Culture reflecting the importance that organizations are putting on producing productivity gains through better work cultures.

 

This trend has seen a new generation of background checks being developed, some of which may not be well known. For a long time candidates have been advised to be cautious about what they publish or put in the public domain, particularly through social media and similar platforms. And for the most part, those of us who don’t engage in criminal activity have never given it a great deal of thought or been overly concerned. However, that is changing, and it’s interesting to look at what prospective employers can glean from social media while staying within the bounds of the law.

 

My Verification Service (MVS) offers a range of social media checks to employers. With some stats saying that more than 65% of employers are now “tuned in” to social media, it’s become a very useful tool for looking at a candidate and what they are all about. Social profiles can tell us a lot about a candidate’s communication styles, attitudes, perspectives, and behaviours. And they can help employers understand whether a person is likely to be a good cultural fit for their organisation and the role.

“The employers we talk to see social media checks as a way of validating their decision to hire, rather than a reason to exclude.”

For instance, we often get asked to run a social media check looking for commentary around specific subjects or attitudes. And the range can be very, very broad.

 

Depending on the role, employers might be interested in how a candidate talks about topical social issues, the environment or animal welfare. This can help the employer better understand a candidate’s interests and attitudes and if they’re likely to be a good fit with the current team culture of their future employer.

 

Social media can also indicate how a person prefers to communicate. The way they post, tweet and interact online might show a logical, thoughtful, passionate or mediating communication style, which again gives an employer more information about a candidate.

 

These kinds of insights have typically been difficult to glean through the interview process. Now that social media has proliferated across all generations, it’s considered as a useful and valuable tool for prospective employers, giving them visibility into aspects of personalities that have a direct impact on the cultural fit between employer and employee. Or, an additional piece of information to help them determine whether an employee is the best fit for the role and their organisation, to be considered alongside all other pieces of information.

 

While some people may consider this kind of analysis of our social media profiles as invasive, the fact is that information in the public domain is just that – public – and the line between personal and professional is becoming increasingly blurred.

 

The employers we talk to see social media checks as a way of validating their decision to hire, rather than a reason to exclude.

 

And, with a little forethought, social media can give you a great platform to showcase who you are, what you are about, and what’s important to you. And it can also mean that you’re more more likely to end up working with an organisation that shares your values and ideals, which is a big win for both you and the employer.