Do you need more Klout when hiring?

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Social media commentators have predicted that a website which measures a job applicant’s online influence will have a greater part to play in the hiring process in the future.

The website, Klout, claims to measure a person’s social media presence before offering a “Klout” score between one and 100.

“The science behind the score examines more than 400 variables on multiple social networks beyond your number of followers and friends. It looks at who is engaging with your content and who they are sharing it with,” Klout’s website states.

Of the three large, New Zealand organisations that HRM asked about Klout scores, none were very enthusiastic about using them.

Neither the Auckland City Council, nor Telecom use Klout scores in the hiring process, although the latter organisation’s Jo Jalfon is paying attention to them. “The concept of using Klout scores to assess people for roles is a relatively new one and we will continue to watch it with interest,” she said.

The recruitment firm, Adecco, appeared to be the most closely engaged with this relatively new tool, although they advise employers that Klout is not a recruitment tool. “In our experience the employers who partner with us do not use Klout as a recruitment tool, preferring the certainty of a proven recruitment methodology to discover future talent,” Donna Lynch, COO, told HRM.

On the other hand, Adecco does advise some job candidates to include their Klout score on their CV. “We advise our candidates to use their Klout score in an application only where the ability to create a strong social media presence is an actual competency of the roles, such as an IT, social media or marketing position. These roles require the ability to create popular online networks, so a candidate’s Klout score in this context may indeed be valid,” Lynch explained.

Ultimately, however, Lynch expressed a considerable degree of scepticism about the usefulness of Klout scores. This is due to their failure to measure the quality of one’s social media interactions, rather than just the quantity. “It is possible that a candidate with a high Klout score may still have a negative online presence, albeit popular, so Adecco does not view Klout as a valid recruitment tool,” Lynch said.

“At worst, it is evidence of popularity and not of quality; at best it is evidence of a strong professional network.”

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