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Social Recruiter’s – An Expertise in Hiring Process

A superior recruiter has in-depth knowledge of the processes that need to follow while recruiting candidates for new and on-going projects. Think of recruitment as a funnel. The recruiter would need to create awareness and educate both clients as well as candidates for the talented workforce and available opportunities respectively. 

To create a well-planned recruitment process, there are some basic guidelines that a recruiter must follow to remain successful in a changing and dynamic sphere of recruitment. These are not complicated processes, but they do need to develop, and the simpler you keep things, the better it will be for all involved. 

Let's look at some of the professional processes in the recruitment world:-







Sourcing candidates go far beyond looking up databases and social profiles on LinkedIn. Sourcing involves creativity, networking, and a generous touch of human connection, and to put it just; supply means using multiple strategies to attract the right candidates to fill a particular job or position. 

Strategies for Sourcing are:-

There are different sourcing strategies that a recruiter may use such as:

Internal and external job postings 

Use of appropriate media to advertise open positions

Searching online database and job portals

Classified ads in local and regional newspapers

Hiring specialist recruitment consultants

Publishing job postings in trade journals (e.g., Pharma)

Collaborating with recruitment agencies

Local and regional hiring drives

Grassroots efforts such as college job fairs and student interviews


In 2008, thirteen British Virgin Airlines crew members publicly shared in a Facebook discussion that specific airplane engines had been replaced four times in the past year. They talked about aircraft cabins infested with cockroaches. More critically, they insulted the paying passengers calling them “chavs,” a derogatory term describing a young lower-class person who displays brash behavior and wears imitation designer clothes."

All 13 of them fired immediately. This story illustrates the power of screening incoming employees by evaluating their social media profiles. If you do a proper social screening and profiling of the incoming employee before they hired, such public instances of organizational defamation will drastically reduce.

You must always begin by reaching out and engaging with promising candidates in conversations. A good recruiter follows the guidelines listed below in initiating screening and establishing a connection with the candidate after sourcing their details from a pool of candidates before moving on to more in-depth screening such as social profiling and background checks:

- Narrowing Down Promising Candidates

- Paper Screening

- Establishing Connection

(a) Narrowing Down Promising Candidates:-

You start by defining necessary qualifications. Nowadays, many recruiters provided with a list of criteria the candidates must meet to fill the job position. As a recruiter, you need to make sure that these evaluation criteria are attainable and measurable. Having specific, quantifiable competencies or standards to measure will help you evaluate candidates faster and more efficiently. 

For those interested in learning about initial screening methods, the entire narrowing down process goes as follows:

i. Paper screening:-

Paper screening is a preliminary screening stage that lets the recruiter weed out candidates who are not a good fit. It is a relatively low cost that can help you improve the quality of the remaining candidate pool by removing the people that do not meet the job requirements before investing any further time, energy or money into them.

Paper screening includes resume screening, cover letter review, following up on letters of reference, as well as any written aptitude tests that may be required to screen a candidate for the position.

ii. Resume screening:-

The very first step in the paper screening process that comes after sourcing candidates is to review candidate resumes. It is possible manually, or with newer technology, you can use recruiting software to scan for the right keywords. The critical parameters to look out are the candidates’ technical and soft skills, educational background, and experience in the industry and work history. Of particular importance and interest are the last few years of the candidate's work history. 

Various red flags such as more extended breaks from work or frequent job changes are to watch out. Be it stagnation at the same position in their career or despite the long years of experience or any history with disciplinary action or law enforcement should be not taken for granted. Since any candidate that comes through the recruiter represents the recruiter’s ability to screen people. Such breaks must be taken very seriously by the recruiter before recommending that candidate to the employer. 

iii. Cover letter review:-

If reading between the lines of the resume can give you an idea of the candidate’s work habits, then reading between the edges of the cover letter will reveal their personality to you. Compared to a cover letter, a resume is usually clinical and dry in its stability to present you information about the candidates’ personality and behavior.

iv. Letters of reference:-

Requesting letters of reference from a promising candidate will provide you with a third person insight into the candidate’s abilities. What a previous colleague or senior says about the candidate’s employment history with them can also give you a better and a more objective idea of the candidate’s personality and behavior.

 Establishing connection

Once the hiring expert has screened the candidate on paper, the job doesn't end there. After whetting the list of narrowed down candidates, you must engage these candidates in conversation by reaching out to them either via phone or email. It is easier to do in a low-barrier-to-entry profession, because such individuals may already be looking for jobs. However, in highly skilled professional areas where candidates are well-paid and in high demand, the recruiter must come up with an effective strategy to compel the candidate to return recruiter calls or emails.

We have already talked regarding the benefits of social media profiling, but how we get to the "how" of the issue? The next chapter will walk you step-by-step through the social profiling process.

Social profiling and Background checks:

“Did you know that as many as 56% of candidates

falsify their information

on their resume or job applications? “

That means more than half of the people you screen for a job will be lying to you at one point or another during their job application process. 

The shocking numbers above are from a Survey conducted by Career Builder in 2014. Career Builder is a global recruiting giant with the most significant job portal in the United States, and it boasts 24 million unique visitors as well as 1 million job listings, so they had a massive pool of 2500 hiring managers to draw from while conducting this survey.

The most significant lie they found was that people ‘enhance’ or ‘embellish their skills’ without realizing that the hiring recruiter, especially a good one, will be conducting screening activities to follow up on these claims and verify them.

Social Profiling

A few years ago, social profiling did not even exist. However, social profiling is quickly becoming one of the essential assets that a recruiter has in helping him or her separate the irrelevant and deceptive applicants from the genuinely stellar ones. Today, no one can deny the powerful utility of social media in hiring and firing employees and job candidates.

Why would a recruiter want to use social profiling?

Social profiling gives some of the more tech savvy recruiters a competitive edge over those that are not yet comfortable with the use of social media to screen applicants. 

Often, candidates portray themselves in the best possible light, and things that are usually hidden under the carpet tend to come out when a sharp recruiter looks at their multiple social media profiles and observes how the candidate behaves in the online world. There is a fallacy that people can be anonymous on online platforms. A person hiding behind a screen may surely feel this way while posting their innermost thoughts, but this ‘anonymity’ is quite far from the truth. These so-called anonymous people can be easily exposed using a single search button in today’s online environment. It is how powerful social media and Internet platforms have become.

The beauty of social profiling is that the way in which employees or candidates behave when they think no one is watching them is exactly how they will act in the workplace when no one is watching them.

Things to look for in a social profile:-

Let us take a detailed step-by-step look at the things one can look for when screening a candidate’s social profile. While it may seem a visible practice for a professional to keep their profile picture clean, inviting and engaging without being too controversial, revealing or offensive, many people end up putting attention-seeking or inappropriate images on their profile. Let us look at each feature of a profile picture and find out what each says about the candidate and his/her personality.

Profile Picture Analysis:-

A detailed profile picture analysis can give you an idea of what the candidate’s personality is like. The soft skills discussed earlier are often reflected in the candidate’s choice of picture for posting, their micro-expressions, the way they dress and their judgment of whether an image is appropriate to post or not. Below are the critical psychological features that a recruiter must assess while looking at a candidate’s social profile.


Eyes may or may not be the window to the soul, but they are the single most telling factor when trying to decipher a person’s micro-expressions.


A laughing picture may be friendly, likable and fun, but too many laughing photos makes the candidate seem like they may be less competent and a bit amateurish.

A closed mouth with a neutral expression that may indicate a kind of a bright personality; depending on the expression on the face. A closed mouth with brooding eyes may show a less approachable or reserved personality. A closed mouth with open, kind or neutral eyes may be a sign of a mature nature.

If they are smiling with teeth showing, this indicates a relaxed but sharp and confident personality. Professionally, such people will be competent and approachable. Someone with straight teeth and a big smile may also be perceived as attractive.


“Posture or its better-known alias,

body language also plays an important role

in making up the person’s overall personality and expression.”

A full body display may indicate attention seeking behavior or tendencies to “show off.” Such people may perceive as an amateur who is less influential and lacking incompetence. Someone who is displaying full body language to make up for lack of skills and expertise will be perceived negatively in a professional setting. Such a person may not be the best choice for a leadership role. 


Celebrities, influencers, and people who attend a lot of social gatherings will often be posting pictures of themselves entirely dressed up in a flashy manner. In more recent times, bloggers, internet personalities, and influencers have also adopted this trend for their profile pictures. It is not uncommon for an influencer to hire a fancy photographer to take photos of their glamour or corporate shot.

However, being too dressy in the profile picture is a big no-no in the professional world. You can have formal images in your albums to indicate the events that you attend. 

Posting Behaviour:-

Posting behavior can give you a pretty accurate idea of the candidate’s personality. Take a close look at the kind of issues that the candidate posts about. For example, if she/he is posting about social gatherings, personal possessions, parties, famous hobbies, family status symbols, jewelry or vacations, it may point to a pretentious, self-centered, egocentric personality. Such extravagant posting behavior may also indicate low IQ and low professional qualifications, and someone with high level of intelligence or professional experience will not post excessively about such things to ‘show off.’

Liking and Interaction:-

Some people give out courtesy likes to their friends’ and acquaintances’ posts.  It means that they go out of their way to acknowledge or support someone or to return a “like” on their position. 

The Employability Framework:-

Although there will always be outliers and unexpected or hidden facets of a candidate’s personality, that will not come to light until they have been hired and inducted, there are specific indicators of success that can help you determine the likelihood of a good fit between the candidate and the hiring organization. During the social profiling stage, you have the added benefit of having access to facets of their profile and personality that are not accessible to many of your competitors. Take advantage of this fact by looking for the following six indicators that make up an individual’s employability framework:


A competent person will display enthusiastic posts with a can-do attitude. They will be committed to personal growth and also have an eye for details. Scrutiny of posting behavior will reveal that they have little or no trouble adapting to change. Many such professionals who display traits of “competence” will also post inspiring things to raise confidence in others. 


Reliability is essential in any position from entry level jobs to upper management. A reliable person will demonstrate the trustworthy behavior. They will own up to their mistakes and take criticism positively. Such people will share their point of view confidently and rationally without getting offended with others who do not agree with them. They will demonstrate mature thinking and objective, logical reasoning. Reliable people often express clarity of thought, and as a result, they are bright communicators. 

Respecting Self and others:-

If the person hired in the organization is supposed to work in a people-centered environment, they must be able to respect others. Respectful people will take the time to build and maintain relationships. They are courteous, considerate, and often react in a mature manner even when they are challenged or offended by someone else’s point of view. Often, those that respect others are found to have higher self-esteem and understand their personality traits and those of others on a deeper level.  Respectful people are appreciative, accepting and encouraging of others and their beliefs. Often, such candidates are involved in communities or interest groups of interest, both personally and professionally as active contributors to society.

Relationship Building and Management:-

People who focus on relationship-building are often natural ‘connectors.’ These are the people that everybody is genuinely friendly with. Such connectors don’t have a checkbox approach to engagement and work. They take the time to savor and build relationships and generally can get more work out of other people by using a method that is non-judgmental and encouraging to others. Just like the “respect” oriented individuals, relationship builders often give significant contributions towards building groups or communities and providing support. Although pacifist in nature, such people can also take an active role in addressing concerns and constructively resolving conflict whenever required.


Transparency is essential for a candidate because without openness and transparency. You cannot even begin to trust the newly-hired employee. An open person will communicate clearly, confidently and concisely. Often, free communicators can change the communication style to meet the needs of their audience without having to resort to deception. Often, such appeals are good at summarising complex information and making it understandable for others. “Open” people are flexible to new ideas and suggestions for improvement, and they have excellent listening and observation skills. Since they have nothing to hide, such people are naturally curious.

Leadership Qualities:-

Organisations always talk about the importance of leadership training. Sometimes, though, people can be natural-born leaders too. Such individuals display a motivational, self-starting, compassionate and empathetic approach. They inspire confidence in others and drive positive change by engaging with their peers in constructive activities. They are seen as thought leaders, influencers, and trendsetters in both, the professional and personal arena. Such influencers tend to be very popular on social media because of their charismatic, inspiring and approachable personality.

Background Screening:-

Over and beyond all the above social profiling efforts, a recruiter must complete specific appropriate background screening. In recent years, background checks have become progressively important. It is especially relevant because more and more recruiters and candidates are connecting through the relatively anonymous medium of the Internet. The rise in workplace violence, scandals, and litigation means that thorough background verification is essential to help employers and recruiters to quickly spot any candidate that may have misrepresented themselves and vice versa.

Below, we have compiled some scenarios where different kinds of background checks are required:- 

What to do with the remaining candidates?

The candidates that remain after the rigorous screening process above can be safely cleared into the next round of hiring. Often, this is the final round where phone or video or in person interviewing takes place. A diligent recruiter who has carefully scrutinized candidates’ educational background, work experience, relations with previous employers, skill sets and personality traits will be well-equipped to decide which candidates to weed out and which ones to take further into the selection process.  

There is one final thing you must do before reaching out to this conclusive proof of candidates for a personal interview of candidates for the personal interview is to see that how long they have stayed in one position throughout their work career. Also look at their given (and real) reasons for leaving previous employers. If they have taken any long breaks from work, find out what they were doing in the interim. Such things not discussed in an application, so the recruiter needs to do some digging to find such information. Digging deeper into such background information will help you further exclude any ineligible candidates, and bring only top-notch candidates to your interview. Bringing the cream of the crop candidates to the discussion is essential, especially if the employer is also part of the final screening interviews.


Once you've sourced and identified a quality pool of candidates, you need to start stratifying them for the selection process. Although the final selection of candidates across different organizations and different recruiters vary according to different industries and professions, a primary comprehensive process is outlined below to help you understand the interview and selection process.

If a recruiter is a thorough professional in selecting interview candidates and setting up the selection meetings, it leaves a positive impression not just on the candidates, but on the client as well. It sets a high-quality precedent for the employer-employee relationship.

Phone screening:-

Phone screening is a useful preliminary step before personally meeting the candidate in person. Not only does it save time, but it also keeps travel costs and efforts on behalf of both parties. Check with your organization if you have a standard list of questions to be asked doing the phone screening. Having a basic script to work from not only helps you stay focused but also will help you ask the right questions and optimize your conversation with the candidate.

Sometimes, you may find it necessary to veer off the script. 


An in-person interview offers further opportunity to interact with the candidate and find out what they like as a professional. You have the chance to dive deeper into topics or questions that you have flagged during the phone screening session. Just like the phone interview, you want to have a set of standard questions to help you stay consistent and on task with the dialogue. Having the structure allows you to efficiently gauge if the person is a good fit for the job and organization

Interview Preparation:-

Whether you are an agency recruiter, an independent consultant or even a hiring manager at the organization itself, always keep the following questions at the forefront of your mind while interviewing:

    •    Can this person do the job properly?

    •    Ideal good fit for the job and organizational culture?

    •    Do they have professional skills needed for the job?

    •    Do they have the behavioral traits to do the job well?

You want to ensure that the candidate is well-prepared as this is in the interest of both parties. Having a well-prepared candidate not only gives them a proper opportunity to showcase their skills but also helps the organization make an educated decision based on every candidate’s optimum performance. You want to ensure that the candidate knows:

    •    Who is conducting the interview?

    •    How many interviewers there will be?

    •    What the entire process looks like (give them a walk-through)?

    •    What expected of both parties during the interview process?

    •    What is the exact time, date and venue of the interview?

A courtesy gesture, one that will surely be remembered and appreciated by the candidate is to send them a brief of the job description. It allows them to prepare better for the interview so that there are no surprises later.

Questions and Scripting:-

Crafting and organizing interview questions are not as easy as it seems. You ask a candidate whether they are a team worker or if they can function well in stressful situations. What do you think the response will be? Apparently, they want the job so that they will answer with a ‘yes.’ Close-ended questions do not reveal much about the candidate other than their interest in the job. A better question would be ‘Tell me about a situation where you did not get along with a co-worker, and how did you handle the situation?” Or ‘Tell me about a time when you were working under a tight deadline, and how did you cope?’ 

While asking questions, always be courteous and respectful. Never share your reactions with other interviewers while the interview is going on. 

Questions to Pose During Interviews:-

Primarily, you want to ask questions that aimed at finding out how apt they are at doing the specific work which they will be performing while on the job. Below is a list of the do’s and don'ts of interview questions to help you frame your own.


1.    Ask open-ended questions.

2.    Ask thought-provoking questions that require complex responses.

3.    Present them with challenging hypothetical situations.

4.    Listen three times as much as you talk.

5.    Explain a little bit about the organization.

6.    Let them know when you will get back to them after the interview.

7.    Share any relevant company policies and probationary measures.

Do not:

1. Ask close-ended questions that only require a yes or no answer.

2. Ask about sensitive topics like their race, age, gender, family, and spouses, financial and credit situations.

3. Dismiss the candidate once it becomes clear that they are not suitable for the job. You can always prepare a marketing pitch so that they leave with a favorable impression of your organization, and maybe share that information with others to spread a word about your human resource needs.

4. Talk too much to fill out the silence or cut them off while discussing a relevant issue.

5. Pressure them to join immediately. It is both unprofessional and will make you look desperate to hire them.

6. Leave them hanging as to what the next steps might be.

7. Over committing to things like salaries, perks, vacations, etc. Unless it has previously discussed with the team and you have the executive authority to make an exception for a stellar candidate.

Sample Interview Questions:-

 1. What skills can you bring to this job?

2. Why do you think you are a good fit for our organization?

3. Tell us, why we should hire you?

4. Why are you interested in working with our company?

5. What interests you the most about this job?

6. What interests you the least about this job?

7. How would your previous teammates describe you?

8. What have you done to grow professionally in the past five years?

9. Think back to a situation that you would consider as a failure in your professional life. Why do you think it happened? How did you cope with it?

10. Is there anything that concerns you about this job position?

11. What are your expectations from remuneration as well as perks and benefits?

12. When can you start working, if the job offered to you?

13. Tell us about the most significant challenge at your last post. How did you overcome it?

14. Tell us something regarding a time when you had to go over and beyond your skills and abilities to fulfill the requirements of your job. How did you cope with that situation?

15. Do you have any questions about the company or me?

Use non-verbal cues:-

When the candidate responds to the above questions or any other questions, keep a trained eye, not just on the content of what they are saying but also on their tone, attitude, behavioral and body language cues. It is important because it also lets you read what they are not saying and gives you significant clues to their inner thought process.

After the Interview:-

At the end of the interview, whether selected or not, thank them and cordially close the discussion. After you have done the due diligence and assessed all the candidates post-interview, notify the people that not accepted for the said job. You must thank the candidates who have rejected as well, and let them know that you will keep them on file for the future, but that they should keep searching for another position if it comes up.


So now you have a finalized candidate/s. Usually, the stellar candidates have a habit of following up on interviews with a “thank-you” email making it easy for you to follow-up with them as well. Meticulous monitoring also gives you an opportunity to arrange a second meeting if required.

However, another essential part of follow-up is to check up on the references that they have provided. Thorough reference checks are necessary for every single hire that recruiter oversees. Reference checking is usually the most overlooked area of recruitment.  

However, ruining this part can land you in a big pot of soup later. Make sure to call at least 2 of the three references that they provide. Pay very close attention to the overall tone of the text. Compared to the content of the book, the sound and silent language used by the potential employee can tell you a much more regarding. They will be tight-lipped and will probably skirt around the major issues. This is a red flag that you must investigate further.

Some employers also conduct drug screenings, criminal background checks, immigration status and legality checks as a part of their screening process. If you have not done so earlier in the screening phase, make sure that these checks are ethical and legally validated. This will save you a lot of hassle in case any legal concerns arise.


Once you have completed all the necessary documentation, administrative duties, and hiring formalities, give the employee a joining date. It is a matter of courtesy to usually provide the employee enough time to wrap up at their previous company. This is often a designated amount of time decided upon in the earlier stages of the selection process between the employee and the company.  

On their joining date, the ‘nesting’ or ‘on-boarding’ phase begins. Ensure the following things arranged in advance during the onboarding stage of your hiring strategy: a welcoming walkthrough, an active learning schedule, setting up necessary facilities, involving other team members. Let us examine each of these on-boarding steps in further detail.

A welcoming walk-through:-

It is standard practice to provide new employees with either a gift or even an orientation package containing all the necessary materials, information, and contacts that they would need to survive the orientation or onboarding period. Providing them with branded elements such as a coffee mug, pad of paper, T-shirts, work bags or uniforms depending on the job will help the employee immediately feel like a part of the team. This is building employer brand loyalty at the fundamental level. 

An active learning schedule:-

Part of your job during the onboarding process is to ensure that the employee can pick up the skills that they don't already have or brush up on any other skills that they may require to do the job properly. An organized recruiter will speak with the trainers and the employee, and anyone else involved, creating an active agenda for their first-week on-board. Planning the training will ensure that the trainers or preceptors are available on the day that the employee is waiting to be trained. Once the employee is in front of you, it becomes challenging to scramble and get everyone's time and attention. You also want to take the new hire’s manager into a loop, as well as other critical co-workers that they will be working with closely. This ensures that all vital areas covered during training. If your organization has the necessary resources, then assigning mentors or preceptors to the new employee is a great idea, so that they can shadow someone who is doing a similar job to theirs, and learn the tools of the trade from the get-go.

Setting up necessary facilities:-

During onboarding, you must also ensure that the employee has a comfortable workstation that they can park their stuff at, do their work and feel at home sitting in. It is disorienting for a new employee to be assigned to someone else's dirty and unorganized desk. They may clean-up; only to have them reassigned somewhere else the next day. Setting up the workstation beforehand gives the new hires the feeling of being on their turf. They end up feeling more relaxed, confident and competent in doing their job. 

Involving other team members:-

At the very beginning or some point during the initial days, you will want to involve key team players such as the managers or supervisors, but one of the first people to meet will be their immediate reporting manager. Use this initial meeting to give the manager and the new team member time to get to know each other, talk about their working styles and hash out future expectations. It is an excellent idea for the manager to share how they will ramp up the employee's workload in the first month or two, to bring them up to par with their complete job duties. This way, the employee knows what to expect and what to deliver.