It's not just those with serious looking passport pictures and profiles on LinkedIn that get job calls. Even those with holiday cover pictures dressed in shorts on Facebook are being hunted for jobs.
A talent assessment company, Wheebox, which is into such hunts for young professionals, uses a Facebook app. The company hires candidates in areas like sales, customer service, and business process outsourcing. The Facebook identity of a candidate can reveal four important details of a prospective employee-location, contact information like e-mail address, name and interests.
The app also targets students of courses like MBA, BTech, BE, MCA and graduate courses as well. "There is an algorithm which is worked out. A candidate can take an online test, if the score is more than 60 per cent, an instant interview is arranged," explains Nirmal Singh, chief executive officer, Wheebox. The location-sensitive app maps jobs to the pincode, allowing recruitment across the country, specific to towns.
The jobs from the Facebook app pans across sectors like health care, hospitality, retail and even manufacturing. "We are looking at an age profile between 18-24 from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, so Facebook is a better bet than LinkedIn. The presence of such candidates on Facebook is around 100 per cent, whereas it is only around 60-70 per cent on LinkedIn," said Singh.
Not all recruiters use Facebook as a medium to fish for prospective candidates. But a lot of them do conduct an online search of candidates to assess the person. "Companies conduct a 'Google search' of prospective employees, just to see what shows up about that person," said E Balaji, managing director and chief executive officer of Randstad India.
The choice of the social networking site that a company uses to assess an employee depends on the nature of the company, Balaji said. "If the company is of a serious nature, it may choose LinkedIn, but if the company has a lot of creativity and flexible atmosphere, it would choose to view a candidate's Facebook profile," he added.
Facebook, some HR professionals believe, reveals more about the characteristics of an employee as compared to LinkedIn. "After viewing the candidate's resume on LinkedIn, Facebook is the next stage of assessment to understand the life history and personality of a person," said Sunil Goel, director, GlobalHunt.
Dhruv Desai, senior vice-president and head (HR and leadership academy) at Angel Broking, said LinkedIn had now become more-or-less equivalent to a job portal. However, in high-risk job profiles, especially in the banking and financial services, companies check Facebook profiles and social media footprint of employees.
"This does not replace psychometric tests and similar evaluation process. It's just to measure whether an employer's perception about a candidate matches that his/her profile and likes and comments on Facebook. Employment decision is not taken by viewing their profile, but they merely glance through the comments on Facebook and Twitter," said Desai.