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Ask Liz: should I be influenced by a potential candidate's social media profile?

Ask Liz: should I be influenced by a potential candidate's social media profile?
Dear Liz, while recruiting for a position within the company, I interviewed a great candidate. I then went and checked the candidate’s social media profiles on Twitter and Facebook, and didn’t like what I saw. Should I be bothered by it?

Social media the curse and the joy…

It depends on what your definition is of something being inappropriate.

What are your values and prejudices?

I would focus on finding out how they would represent themselves professionally.

I would be inclined to talk to them about it and keep focussed on the required skills for the job.

I would then give them a copy of the agency social media policy, run them through the key points, make it clear they will be obliged to comply with it at your agency and hope that they clean up their act.

From the general HR perspective, I would advise anyone to be careful with what they are posting on social media and be very careful who you are friends with. Perhaps your boss is not your best friend on social media.

Think carefully about how you want to be perceived in public media spaces. Perhaps an address of might not be the best.

It is interesting that, just this week, 18,000 people have asked for information to be removed from Google.

Also revisit your privacy settings and ensure that your account is not open to the public.

Obviously people are entitled to have a private life but depending on what you post in the public domain, there could be consequences for you, your employer and potentially your employer's clients and/or suppliers.

If you have an HR-related issue that you need answering by our expert Liz Nottingham, HR Director at Starcom MediaVest and VivaKi Country Talent & Transformation Officer, please contact her via Any questions published will appear anonymously.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and were submitted in accordance with the IPA's terms and conditions regarding the uploading and contribution of content to the IPA's newsletters, IPA website, or other IPA media, and should not be interpreted as representing the opinion of the IPA.

Last updated 15/10/2014

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