I remember a candidate I was representing while at the large multinational recruiting agency. The candidate had recently moved from the East Coast to Las Vegas and so hadn’t any personal transport and this was before Uber was your second car.
I had lined him up for an interview and even arranged for me to collect him and drive him to the interview. He was well dressed and prepared for the interview or so I thought.
Little did I know that while the hiring managers were waiting for this candidate to arrive, they did a quick lookup on social media. The first was LinkedIn and that went ok, where the ‘you know what’ hit the fan, was when they jumped onto Facebook, where the candidates profile picture was him with a Las Vegas showgirl kissing him on each cheek.
Now there is nothing wrong with Las Vegas showgirls, that isn’t the lesson here. The lesson here is that while some say ‘ what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ – that is only true if you don’t go and post that on Facebook or use it as your profile picture.
So before he had even arrived, the damage was done. One of my colleagues called me while I was sitting in the car waiting for the interview to be over. She asked, “Have you seen his Facebook photos?” I responded, “No”.
A short time later the candidate emerged from the office and I asked him how he thought the interview went. He replied, “I thought it went well”.
When I told him that the hiring managers had looked at his Facebook photo and weren’t impressed, he seemed shocked and responded, “That was one of my best photos, I had a suntan and so I thought it looked good.”
A lesson for the recruiter this time. Some people just won’t get it, even after you tell them.
Recruiters will look at all social media platforms they can and if things are not professional there may be adverse reactions. In this case, the hiring managers had already made up their minds before the candidate had even walked in. They made nice during the interview, nonetheless, they had already expressed to my colleague they were never going to ever think of hiring this candidate.
Now the sad situation about this is that the hiring managers would never share this with the candidate because they fear litigation. This is why they pretended everything was going well and even left the candidate with the thought that the interview went well.
This is my biggest issue. Transparency and truth during the interview process. How different things would be if the hiring managers were able to share this type of information with the candidate during the interview. This candidate was lucky that as I was representing him through an agency – I was able to give him the feedback. Had he gone directly which is the case in many situations, he would never be any the wiser.
How can candidates improve if they don’t get honest feedback because recruiters fear litigation?