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Employers Using Social Media to Screen Job Candidates
 
Published Friday, June 16, 2017

Before posting pictures of your late-night revelry or complaints about your job on social media, think again—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 national survey was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll and included a group of 2,380 hiring managers and HR 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,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief HR 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—30 percent of employers 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, if the candidate has a professional online persona, what other people are posting about the candidate and a reason not to hire a candidate.

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—54 percent) of employers 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 44 percent of employers 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 networking site were candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications, great communication skills, a professional image and creativity. 

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 use social networking sites to research current employees. Thirty-four percent of employers have found content online that caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.


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