Social Networks Used to Screen Job Candidates

USA TODAY, May 2016 | Go to article overview

Social Networks Used to Screen Job Candidates


Avoiding a professional online presence may be hurting your chances of finding a new job, as 35% of employers indicate they are less likely to interview someone if they are unable to find information about that person online, according to a social media recruitment survey of U.S. hiring and human resources managers across industries and company sizes by CareerBuilders, Chicago, III.

Fifty-two percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 43% and 39%, respectively, over the last two years.

"Researching candidates via social media and other online sources has transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of online recruitment," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer 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."

Haefner points out that most recruiters are not searching for negatives intentionally. In fact, 60% are "seeking for information that supports their qualifications for the job," according to the survey. For some occupations, this could include a professional portfolio. Fifty-six percent of recruiters want to see if the candidate has a professional online persona; 37% want to see what other people are posting about the candidate; and 21% admit they are looking for reasons not to hire the candidate. Additionally, 51% of hiring managers use search engines to research candidates.

Hiring managers in information technology and financial services are the most likely to use social networks to screen candidates; retail had the lowest share: information technology (76%), financial services (64%), sales (61%), professional and business services (54%), manufacturing (49%), health care (48%), and retail (46%). …

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