7 Ways to Protect Your Online Image as a Recruiter

By Tess Curle Taylor, PHR, CPC

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Recruitment Reputation Management As you go about your business as a recruiter, screening candidates and looking over their social profiles when is the last time you checked to see what others are saying about you? Online reputation management may be something that you’ve not thought of often enough. Thinking that you are protected against bashing online is naïve. A few bad reviews posted about you or your organization and it can become the stuff of nightmares from a PR standpoint.

Why Should You Care About Your Online Reputation?

The world has become more transparent in the last few years. Increasing numbers of people are sharing the most intimate details of their lives on social networking sites. Including those who work as professional recruiters. This means someone may be looking at your personal profiles, even if you do not use them for recruitment purposes. After all, candidates have grown smart when it comes to learning more about companies and the recruitment personnel who work there. One controversial post on your social profile or on a business review site can get millions of hits – even if it’s over something minor.

Steps to Protecting Your Recruitment Image Online

Recruiters who frequent social networks need to get wise in terms of managing their reputations and those of the companies they represent online. Here are some ways to protect your online image as a recruiter, before any damage can be done.

#1 – Create Social Accounts that are Easy to Manage

Some sources will tell you that you need to stretch yourself between multiple social networks in order to maximize your efforts as a recruiter. While you will want to establish a strong presence, you also want a controlled presence that you can manage. Go for consistency and value vs. quantity.

#2 – Narrow Down Your Contacts to Professionals

As you develop your social networking reputation, fill your list of contacts with professionals in your industry. Clean up your profile by setting up user groups by family, friends, and colleagues. This will help to establish you as a leader in your area of recruitment, and protect your personal information from those who may be checking out your social profiles without your knowledge.

#3 – Set Tight Security Limits on All Social Accounts

While you are updating your social profiles for added privacy, be sure to set some tighter security limits on all your accounts. You can easily do this in each account, by individuals or for your entire account. Privacy settings make it possible for your profile information, such as your personal contact information, be used without first being accepted as a trusted user by you.

#4 – Be Cautious of Unsolicited Contact Requests

It may seem natural to accept requests from others in your quest to gain new contacts and expand your recruitment networks. However, you must be cautious as these unsolicited contact requests may not be for good reasons. Always ask how the person knows you or check out their profile and any commonality you have with a new connection before making it official.

#5 – Maintain Professionalism at All Times on Social Networks

Your goal as a recruiter is to establish yourself as a professional and a leader in your industry. This comes down to always putting your best foot forward in all format, whether in person or online. It can be tempting to create a fake advertisement, write a negative post or to vent about a particular issue, but leave this for the amateurs. Be professional and keep negative and potentially offensive content off your social networks.

#6 – Get Negative Review Alerts Fast

One easy way to monitor your online reputation as a social recruiter is to set up Google search engine alerts using key phrases that include your name or the name of your company or agency. Within minutes of someone posting something negative about you online, you will get an email alert that can prompt you to inspect and eliminate the comment.

#7 – Have a Plan to Deal with Bad PR

Be prepared to deal with negative press about you or your agency as a recruiter. Contact webmasters and request that any defamatory content be removed from their websites. Create positive content that will appear in search engines. Get positive reviews and testimonials from your clients and ask them to post them online frequently.

All of these steps cannot 100 percent protect you from receiving negative remarks online, but they are effective in preventing your online reputation from being damaged. Be proactive about your online reputation as a recruiter for better long term success in this challenging career.

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