Social Recruiting and Klout Scores?

We’ve all heard of Klout, the social influence analytics company, right? If you’re unfamiliar, Klout scores your activity on a variety of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Viadeo etc.) and assigns it a number based on a variety of factors:

  • True reach: The number of people you influence, both within your immediate network and across their extended networks.
  • Amplification: How much you influence people.
  • Network impact: The influence of your network.

Klout is usually linked to Klout Perks, which are things you can get for free if you have a high score, if you are influential about a certain topic, and/or if you live in a certain market. But some companies are taking this to the next level and requiring that their employees have a certain Klout score. Does this have merit? Some applicants have been known to include their Klout score on their resume.

The Washington Post ran a poll on this issue, an 54% of respondents indicated that they believed Klout should not be included on a resume. But you must consider the fact that “social media influence” only holds merit in a small number of careers. If you are applying to be a Waitress, Pharmacist, or Accountant, your Klout might not matter. But if you are applying to be a Community Manager or Advertising Executive, one could say that your social influence matters to these roles.

So are employers actually checking this out?

Of course, Klout itself requires a certain score in order to be hired by them. (They look for a score of 10 or higher, which seems easy, even for a spam-bot.) I’ve even heard from a few of my friends that they’ve been in interviews where the prospective employer will ask “what’s your Klout score? How many Twitter followers do you have?” Do these questions have a place in an interview?

A blog post by Identified put it this way: Klout can help you choose between two candidates with otherwise identical backgrounds. If you have two applicants with similar education and work experience, their social influence might be considered a “lower-tier” attribute that can give them that edge.

The way I see it, Klout should never be considered a “gate-keeper” to an interview. Some companies will throw away a resume if an applicant doesn’t meet requirements for GPA, or number of years of work experience, but this should never be done with Klout. The platform is still in beta, and it is still changing on a very frequent basis.

They are constantly adding new networks and updating their algorithm. However, I think that Identified got it right. If I am looking at two resumes that are otherwise similar, a higher Klout score can show that an applicant is “plugged-in” and influential, which can be a very desirable quality for certain job titles.

Do you pay attention to an applicant’s Klout score?

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