Employers using social media to screen candidates at all-time high

Editor

July 3, 2017

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More than ever social media is part of our daily lives, we post our photos, videos, likes and dislikes, allowing the outside world to peek into our daily lives. So, before posting pictures of your late-night revelry or complaints about your job on social media, think again; a recent survey revealed that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, up significantly from 60 percent last year and 11 percent in 2006.

The survey was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between February 16 and March 9, 2017. It included a representative sample of more than 2,300 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

“Most workers have some sort of online presence today– and more than half of employers won’t hire those without one,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “This shows the importance of cultivating a positive online persona. Job seekers should make their professional profiles visible online and ensure any information that could negatively impact their job search is made private or removed.”

What Are Employers Looking for?
Social recruiting is becoming a key part of HR departments – 3 in 10 employers (30 percent) have someone dedicated to the task. When researching candidates for a job, employers who use social networking sites are looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job (61 percent), if the candidate has a professional online persona (50 percent), what other people are posting about the candidates (37 percent) and for a reason not to hire a candidate (24 percent).

Employers aren’t just looking at social media – 69 percent are using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing to research candidates as well, compared to 59 percent last year.

Ponder Before You Post
Learn from those before you – more than half of employers (54 percent) have found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate for an open role. Of those who decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles, the reasons included:

  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information: 39 percent
  • Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs: 38 percent
  • Candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion: 32 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee: 30 percent
  • Candidate lied about qualifications: 27 percent
  • Candidate had poor communication skills: 27 percent
  • Candidate was linked to criminal behavior: 26 percent
  • Candidate shared confidential information from previous employers: 23 percent
  • Candidate’s screen name was unprofessional: 22 percent
  • Candidate lied about an absence: 17 percent
  • Candidate posted too frequently: 17 percent

Your online persona doesn’t just have the potential to get you in trouble. Cultivating your presence online can also lead to reward. More than 4 in 10 employers (44 percent) have found content on a social networking site that caused them to hire the candidate. Among the primary reasons employers hired a candidate based on their social media profiles were candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications (38 percent), great communication skills (37 percent), a professional image (36 percent), and creativity (35 percent).

Don’t Delete, Instead Police
Debating removing your social media profiles while job searching? Think twice before you hit delete. Fifty-seven percent of employers are less likely to call someone in for an interview if they can’t find a job candidate online. Of that group, 36 percent like to gather more information before calling in a candidate for an interview, and 25 percent expect candidates to have an online presence.

Got the Job? Stay Vigilant
Just because you got the job doesn’t mean you can disregard what you post online. More than half of employers (51 percent) use social media sites to research current employees. Thirty-four percent of employers have found content online that caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,380 hiring and human resource managers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 16 and March 9, 2017 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,380, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.01 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

SOURCE CareerBuilder®
Edited by G. Davila

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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.