What job seekers post on their social networking profiles can be both a blessing and a curse for their chances of finding employment, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder.co.uk.
Fifty-two per cent of employers have researched job candidates on social media, and a further 10 per cent plan to start, the national survey, conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder.co.uk, surveying more than 400 employers, reveals.
And it’s not the professional networking sites that employers are examining. Sixty-two per cent check Facebook and 45 per cent look at a candidate’s Twitter feed, compared to 44 per cent using the professional networking site LinkedIn and 22 per cent on Google+. Image sharing sites aren’t exempt from scrutiny either. Nearly one in ten (nine per cent) refer to Instagram, and eight per cent to Pinterest. Employers are using search engines too: Forty-nine per cent of employers use search engines such as Google to research potential job candidates, and 11 per cent plan to start.
Of those who have researched candidates on social media, 42 per cent have found content that caused them to not hire the candidate and 18 per cent have found content that made them think twice about hiring the candidate.
When asked about the content that prompted them to eliminate candidates from consideration, the most common reasons employers gave included:
- Job candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs (33 per cent)
- Job candidate had poor communications skills (32 per cent)
- Job candidate lied about qualifications (30 per cent)
- Job candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (28 per cent)
- Job candidate posted too frequently (24 per cent)
- Job candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or a fellow employee (23 per cent)
- Job candidate’s screen name was unprofessional (23 per cent)
- Job candidate lied about an absence (22 per cent)
- Job candidate was linked to criminal behavior (22 per cent)
- Job candidate shared confidential information from the previous employer (20 per cent)
- Job candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. (20 per cent)
Statuses Employers “Like”
On the other hand, 45 per cent of employers who research candidates on social networking sites say they’ve found content that led them to hire a candidate. Some of the most common reasons included:
- Job candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications for the job (38 per cent)
- Job candidate was creative (38 per cent)
- Job candidate’s site conveyed a professional image (31 per cent)
- Job candidate had great communications skills (29 per cent)
- Job candidate received awards and accolades (29 per cent)
- Job candidate was well-rounded – (26 per cent)
- Job candidate posted compelling video or other content (28 per cent)
- Got a good feel for the job candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the company (27 per cent)
- Job candidate had a large amount of followers or subscribers (25 per cent)
- Job candidate had interacted with my company’s social media accounts (18 per cent)
- Other people posted great references (8 per cent)
“CVs only tell part of the story, so employers are increasingly relying on social media and Internet search engines to supplement their knowledge of a candidate,” said Scott Helmes, managing director of CareerBuilder UK. “For these reasons, job seekers need to be more aware than ever about what they say – and what’s being said about them – online.”