June 5, 2015 – Employers are no longer relying on a candidate’s resume alone as more than half turn to social media to check out an applicant’s credentials, according to research conducted by CareerBuilder.co.uk. Results discovered that 52 percent of employers have researched job candidates on social media, and a further 10 percent plan to begin doing so. More than 400 employers took part in the survey which showed that it’s the professional networking sites that employers are least interested in as 62 percent admit to checking Facebook and 45 percent look at a candidate’s Twitter feed. That’s compared to 44 percent using LinkedIn and 22 percent on Google+.
Image sharing sites are also under scrutiny, with nearly one in 10 (nine percent) referring to Instagram, and eight percent to Pinterest.
Employers are also using search engines to help decide a candidate’s fate with 49 percent of employers using search engines such as Google to research applicants and 11 percent saying they plan to start. Of those who have researched candidates on social media, 42 percent — yes, that’s 42 percent ! — have found content that caused them to not hire the candidate and 18 percent have found content that made them think twice about hiring the candidate.
The most common reasons for eliminating a candidate from consideration include posting information about them drinking or using drugs (33 percent) and posting provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (28 percent).
Forty-five percent of employers who research candidates on social networking sites said they’ve found content that led them to hire a candidate. Some of the most common reasons included the candidate’s background information supporting their professional qualifications for the job (38 percent) and the employer being able to get a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit within the company (27 percent).
“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 U.K. “For these reasons, job seekers need to be more aware than ever about what they say – and what’s being said about them – online.”
A separate survey, also conducted by CareerBuilder, found that avoiding a professional online presence might hurt one’s chances of finding a new job. More than one third of employers (35 percent) say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online, according to CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey.
“Researching candidates via social media and other online sources has transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of online recruitment,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer (CHRO) at CareerBuilder. “In a competitive job market, recruiters are looking for all the information they can find that might help them make decisions. Rather than go off the grid, job seekers should make their professional persona visible online, and ensure any information that could dissuade prospective employers is made private or removed.”
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media