Does HR fall for social-media pretensions?

Social-media profiles can be just one of the tools for evaluation but not the only tool.


Social media profiles are important for people, especially when they are hunting for jobs. People try hard to appear knowledgeable, vocal and opinionated on social media in order to catch the attention of potential employers. In fact, most people pretend or try to be what they are actually not. For instance, some people are introverts in real life, but appear to be quite vocal on social media.

Does this pretension work? Does HR buy it?

Archana Singh, senior vice president, human resources, Reliance Broadcast Network

Archanna Singh

Social media is a perception that a person creates about himself. Rarely is the information on the platform authentic. I do not judge any candidate on the basis of the information posted on social- media platforms. I believe that people who are working closely with a person act as the best testimonies to their professional work and achievements that no one can co-create. At the leadership level, the kind of decision that a person takes or the influence he has on the people working under him, talk on their own. The ideal examples are of the founders of Facebook and Microsoft who hardly ever write on social media but people still look up to them because of what they have done and achieved. The number of followers on LinkedIn or the number of likes on a profile picture will not influence my decision in terms of accessing leadership competency.

Nihar Ghosh, president, human resource, Emami Group

Nihar Ghosh

Whatever a person writes on social media cannot be authentic or credible so I cannot make that the basis for a proper judgement of that person. For senior-level positions one will not even take the trouble to take a look at a person’s profile on social media. But I will certainly say that information on social media will provide insights on how a person is. If the person is making derogatory remarks on social media about something or if we see a huge gap in how a person is portraying himself on social media and his CV, that will indicate that the person has the tendency to exaggerate about himself. Many factors influence the final decision but in the end, yes, social media information is evaluated and does play a role. However, social media cannot be taken as the sole basis for decision making.

Saba Adil, chief people and operating officer, Aegon Life Insurance

Saba Adil

For us, social media is Linkedin. We look at how many followers a person has and the profiles of those followers. We do not make a decision on the basis of the information available on Linkedin alone. There is a whole procedure to be followed and various methods that can be adopted to get to know a person. Social media will just provide us with some inputs which may not make an impact on a larger scale.

Social media can be used as just one of the tools to obtain information about a person, but it cannot be used as the only tool to evaluate the person. However, it can surely make an impact on the final decision of whether or not to hire a candidate.

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