Seventy percent of employers said they screen candidates by checking their social media postings, a jump from 60 percent last year, and 11 percent in 2006. And 69 percent said they use search engines to learn about applicants, up from 59 percent in 2016. Still, 57 percent of employers also said that if they can find nothing about a candidate online they are less likely to grant that person an interview.
Most workers have some sort of online presence today and more than half of employers won’t hire those without one. 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.
For many human resource functions, social recruiting is an integral part of their operation, with 30 percent of those surveyed assigning someone to perform such checking. Employers want to know about job seekers beyond their basic resume.
Reasons to Reject
Oftentimes, they are finding just that: Fifty-four percent of the employers surveyed said that they bypassed a prospect because of what they learned about them through social media.
Findings about candidates that caused them to be rejected included: posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information (39 percent); posted information about them drinking or using drug (38 percent); discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion (32 percent); bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee (30 percent); lied about qualifications (27 percent); poor communication skills (27 percent); linked to criminal behavior (26 percent); shared confidential information from previous employers (23 percent); screen name was unprofessional (22 percent); lied about an absence (17 percent); posted too frequently (17 percent).
It is common for clients to peruse the social media presence of candidates before meeting them. Likewise, a firm will scan the web before presenting an individual. Simply because social media has really exploded in the last few years, all candidates should expect that what they make public will be part of the overall review when interviewing for a job.
There is value in doing a quick check when looking at a candidate. If the candidate has public positions on things that may conflict with your organization or your company’s values, then it’s important to know that,. If you can find it, so can the company’s customers. Depending on the type of position you are recruiting for, you want to be sure there isn’t unnecessary scandal or culture clashes.
An Online Presence
Candidates should have at least some online presence. If nothing else, it reveals something about the individual’s activity out in the world, beyond the bare-bone facts. That such information should reinforce a positive image seems obvious, though countless job seekers have failed to grasp that very idea.
You don’t need to fill the first five Google pages when doing a search on your name, but a well-crafted LinkedIn page is a minimum standard. Because I recruit marketing and communications people, I’m going to look for more beyond LinkedIn. Is this person a thought leader? Do they use social media strategically? Often people who create the social strategies for a company are less likely to be super active on it personally, and I get that. But what I do see, should reflect well on the person.
Facebook and Twitter seem to be used by line managers who have seen a candidate’s resume, and therefore are well-briefed on his or her work accomplishments, but feel as if they are missing important information about the candidate beyond work, she said. In order to get a more holistic view of the candidate, they will check these secondary sources to determine culture and value fit.