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36% of UK companies have turned down candidates based on their social media profile

Research conducted by and YouGov has revealed that more than a third (36%) of UK employers have turned down a candidate based on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles with more than half (56%) of UK HR professionals admitting that a candidate’s online reputation has an influence over whether they hire them and 65% admitting to Googling a candidate during the hiring process.


While two thirds of jobseekers believe that a company would be likely to turn them down for a role because of their online footprint, very few people actively manage their social profile with only 48% of Brits saying they are conscious of how their online reputation might look to a potential employer.


Millennials are the most concerned with the impact their social media persona might have on their career prospects, with over two thirds (67%) believing that companies will turn down applicants before the interview process has begun because of perceived social media personas. As a result, one in five (20%) young people say they are very conscious of how their online reputation could impact job prospects.


Online reputation works both ways, however, with employers scrutinised as much as the candidates. YouGov research found that 28% of employees say they have been influenced by what they had read about an employer on social media.


Andy Sumner, managing director for Monster UK & Ireland, said, “Many focus on the potential negatives of social media when it comes to job applications, but, while it’s important to manage your profile and think about privacy settings to ensure you’re not oversharing holiday snaps, social media can also be a really powerful tool to build a personal brand and make a candidate really attractive to an employer.


“More and more employees and employers are looking for a good cultural fit, so often a Google search will tell a recruiter more than a CV can. Candidates should think about what they use each channel for – whether personal or professional – to build a profile for themselves. The same applies to employers. The external employer brand of a business is really significant when attracting talent – so recruiters should think of the image they are projecting as an organisation, as well as spending time using social to understand their interviewees.”     


With online and offline lives continuing to merge, 24% of UK jobseekers say they would use a professional social media network to find a new job and 10% would use general social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. To help employers reach talent across social channels, Monster recently launched Social Job Ads – technology that automatically targets relevant candidates among the full Twitter user base, beyond an employer’s own following.


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