Why Indian companies shy away from using social-media to assess culture fit

Companies do use social-media platforms to communicate their culture amongst prospective candidates, but they cannot rely on them to truly judge whether the candidates are right for their culture.

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There are various parameters on which candidates are assessed before employers finally decide to hire them. One such parameter is ‘culture fit’. Yes, while it is important to assess the skills of candidates before offering them the job, it is also equally important to assess their culture fit.

Culture-fit hiring in the talent-recruitment process can increase the possibility of longevity and retention of the employees.

So what exactly is culture-fit hiring? Simply put, it is the process of matching the values of the company with that of the candidates. The candidates will be considered a good fit for the company if their values match with that of the company.

Various assessment tools and conventional techniques, such as deep conversations can be employed to determine whether the person is a culture fit or not.

Lalit Kar

“When I was working with the Mumbai Airport, we used to check the profiles of candidates for senior-level leadership roles to do a background check on their political views and inclinations”

Given the buzz surrounding social recruitment, can we use social-media platforms to ascertain whether the candidate is a culture fit or not?

Companies, such as Taco Bell, Dell, and Unilever, use social media comprehensively to promote their culture and employer brand.

Taco Bell posts pictures of its employees working in uniforms in kitchens on platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, to tell people what it is like to work at Taco Bell. It also posts jobs on Instagram, which is a fairly unconventional way of attracting talent.

Unilever also shares a lot of videos on LinkedIn and Facebook, wherein its employees describe the culture of the organisation, and their own progress in their professional journey with the Company.

Apart from this, social-media platforms can be used to analyse those skills of candidates, which are not mentioned on their resumes. By venturing into their profiles, it is possible to gain insights into their lifestyles, likes, dislikes and inclinations.

Ganesh Chandan

“To find out whether the person is a culture fit, we use the conventional method of deep conversation with the candidate”

The way individuals conduct themselves on social-media platforms can impact their chances of getting a job. These platforms are also used to verify the backgrounds of candidates.

“When I was working with the Mumbai Airport, we used to check the profiles of candidates for senior-level leadership roles to do a background check on their political views and inclinations,” says Lalit Kar, SVP-HR, Reliance Digital.

But when we asked HR leaders about whether they use social media to assess the culture fit of candidates, many of them answered in the negative!

This is not surprising at all. While HR still relies on assessment tools and other conventional methods to do a culture fit check, HR leaders do not think that social media is a great tool to check whether a person is a culture fit or not.

“To find out whether the person is a culture fit, we use the conventional method of deep conversation with the candidate,” says Ganesh Chandan, CHRO, Tata Projects.

Ajay Tiwari

“Social-media platforms do not showcase the values of a person which can match with that of a company. We can only get some idea about the potential, but not the culture fitment”

HR leaders who spoke to HRKatha feel that social media is not a great culture fitment assessment tool because :

It is not a reliable source – We can never trust social media for culture fitment assessment because a person’s social profile may not portrays his/her real self.

Cannot help in psychometric profiling – While a person can share various posts on social media, none of them can truly reveal the values of the person. For instance, a company’s values may comprise a ‘high performance culture’, ‘transparency’ or ‘display of entrepreneurial skills’. These values cannot be assessed on the basis of what a person likes, shares or comments on social-media platforms.

“Social-media platforms do not showcase the values of a person which can match with that of a company. We can only get some idea about the potential, but not the culture fitment,” shares Ajay Tiwari, VP-HR, Lupin.

Companies can definitely use these social-media platforms to promote and market their work culture and organisational philosophy. But as of now, it is a long way off from acting as a two-way street.

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