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Three Things You Can Learn from Candidate Photos

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“We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.”

– Malcolm Gladwell

As a hiring manager, today you have the ability to see a photo of your candidates online. Either you’re using a hiring platform that gives you access to candidate photos, or even videos, or you can check social media platforms. Either way, it’s highly likely that you’ll know what someone looks like before meeting them.

This is a fundamental shift in hiring because the flow of information has been accelerated. Employers can learn a lot about candidates before any discussions take place. This both powerful and dangerous. A candidate’s physical appearance can create bias, and this bias can lead to discrimination. Physical appearance is obviously not a good indicator of job performance. Looking at a candidate’s photo may be detrimental to your team building.

Three things you can learn from candidate photos 1

As it turns out, however, photos can reveal a lot more than physical appearance. In fact, if used effectively, photos can add a powerful reference point to the selection process.

Here are three things you can learn from a candidate’s photo:

Charisma

Is the candidate smiling? What is her expression? Photos can reveal quite a lot. While not every photo posted to social media has a story behind it, there are things you can learn about the candidate. Is she outgoing and friendly? Casual or formal? Introvert or extrovert?
Whatever you find on your search is just as easily found by anyone your new employee will be speaking to on your behalf. It’s important not to draw too many conclusions and take everything with a grain of salt. At this point you’re just guessing.

Effort

Was the photo taken professionally or is it sloppy? How much effort has gone into the photo? This is an indicator of how important it is to the candidate to make a positive impression. It’s the digital equivalent of the candidate’s presentation at the interview. If she turned up late and dressed unprofessionally – however you define that – you probably wouldn’t be impressed.

Style

While style might seem superficial to some and irrelevant to others, in many industries or roles it’s extremely important. If it’s a creative role, style may be paramount. If you’re looking for an ambassador for your company the “look” is important. Do you want grungy? Classy? Trendy? If style is important, a candidate’s photo can be an effective reference point. Don’t waste an important opportunity.

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In a digital world, it’s hard to ignore the material available online about someone you may be meeting. You don’t need to reach definitive conclusions. You can jot down some questions and ask candidates to validate your assumptions. Make it part of your interview script and try to be impartial.

So, think of photos as another reference point and add them to the mix. Don’t feel guilty about having an opinion.

The candidate wants you to have an opinion, that’s why she chose that photo.

Omer Molad

Omer Molad

Omer Molad is a visionary entrepreneur leading the charge in revolutionizing the hiring landscape as the Co-founder and CEO of Vervoe. With a diverse career spanning roles in corporate finance at the National Australia Bank and service in the Israel Defense Forces, Omer brings a wealth of leadership experience to his role. Driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to excellence, Omer co-founded Vervoe to address a common pain point in hiring processes - the mismatch between candidates' skills and their real-world performance. Through Vervoe's AI-powered skill testing platform, Omer has helped countless companies streamline their hiring processes and identify top talent efficiently. Outside of his role at Vervoe, Omer actively mentors entrepreneurs and contributes to the entrepreneurial community through organizations like Startup Grind and Inspiring Rare Birds. With his strategic vision and dedication to merit-based hiring, Omer is reshaping the future of recruitment.

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