Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the US, but the older folks have not disappeared from the job market. Boomers (those between the ages of 53 and 71) bring a lot to the table: experience, training, and the ability to mentor and lead. In addition, 96% of this cohort search for jobs online, and most of them use at least one social media outlet. This means you should conduct the same social media screening for them as you would for any younger candidate.
However, Boomers present some challenges not faced when performing a social media background check for Millennials, or even Gen X applicants.
Screening the online presence of applicants. Image: Pixabay.
One difference is that Boomers use fewer social media services. While 91% of the post-WW2 children use social media, most use Facebook only. You can also find older professionals on LinkedIn, and some have Twitter accounts. But they tend to shun sites like Instagram and Pinterest, and 10% do not use any social media services at all.
Boomers also tend to be less mobile-savvy. While 60% of the younger group uses smartphones regularly for social media consumption, only 14% of Boomers do the same. The older generation isn't posting live to Facebook and other sites the way Millennials do. You are less likely to catch a Boomer doing something questionable via a social media post.
Even those who use smartphones know that posting live pictures or video from a party is not always a clever idea. But what the average Boomer does put online is generally more honest and candid.
Surveys show that 50% of Millennials regularly clean up what they have posted on social media. Only 35% of Boomers bother to do this. So, with Boomers on social media, what you see is pretty much what you get. They also maintain more dedicated personal websites than Millennials, a rich resource of information like resumes, blog posts, and work samples.
Baby Boomers also have a deeper work history and often post about training, extracurricular activities, and recommendations. Read those blog posts and resumes. If they are on LinkedIn, dig deep into all the various sections to mine a lot of solid information about the person. Are they continuing their professional training? What charities and causes do they care about? All this can give you a well-rounded picture of the Boomer, even if they don't post as much as Millennials.
Companies such as Fama take these and many other facts into account when designing customized social media screening solutions. The social media habits of Boomers and other cohorts are part of the customized, automated solutions they offer. These solutions take the drudgery out of searching and evaluating social media, returning in moments what could take you hours.
Whatever method you choose, however, don't overlook the people over 50 who respond to your job postings. Boomers can be a valuable addition to any company's staff. Reviewing their social media habits is just as important during the vetting process as it is for anyone, of any age.
This is paid content, originally written by Sarah Finnegan