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Over half of employers have researched a job candidate on social media

55% of employers have researched job candidates on social media, and a further 10% plan to start, the national survey, conducted online on behalf of, surveying more than 400 employers, reveals.

And it’s not the professional networking sites that employers are examining. 62% check Facebook and 45% look at a candidate’s Twitter feed, compared to 44% using the professional networking site LinkedIn and 22% on Google. Image sharing sites aren’t exempt from scrutiny either. Nearly one in ten refer to Instagram, and 8% to Pinterest. Employers are using search engines too: 49% of employers use search engines such as Google to research potential job candidates, and 11% plan to start.

Of those who have researched candidates on social media, 42% have found content that caused them to not hire the candidate and 18% 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%)

-          Job candidate had poor communications skills (32%)

-          Job candidate lied about qualifications (30%)

-          Job candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (28%)

-          Job candidate posted too frequently (24%)

-          Job candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or a fellow employee (23%)

-          Job candidate’s screen name was unprofessional (23%)

-          Job candidate lied about an absence (22%)

-          Job candidate was linked to criminal behavior (22%)

-          Job candidate shared confidential information from the previous employer (20%)

-          Job candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. (20%)

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%)

-          Job candidate was creative (38%)

-          Job candidate’s site conveyed a professional image (31%)

-          Job candidate had great communications skills (29%)

-          Job candidate received awards and accolades (29%)

-          Job candidate was well-rounded – (26%)

-          Job candidate posted compelling video or other content (28%)

-          Got a good feel for the job candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the company (27%)

-          Job candidate had a large amount of followers or subscribers (25%)

-          Job candidate had interacted with my company’s social media accounts (18%)

-          Other people posted great references (8%)

“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.” 


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