Before posting pictures of your late-night revelry or complaints about your job on social media, think again—70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, up significantly from 60% last year and 11% in 2006.
The national survey was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between February 16 and March 9, 2017. It included a representative sample of more than 2,300 hiring managers and Human Resources (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,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief HR officer at CareerBuilder—in a press release. “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—3 in 10 employers (30%) have someone dedicated to the task. When researching candidates for a job, employers that use social networking sites are looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job (61%), if the candidate has a professional online persona (50%), what other people are posting about the candidates (37%), and for a reason not to hire a candidate (24%).
Employers aren’t just looking at social media—69% are using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to research candidates as well, compared to 59% last year.
Ponder Before You Post
Learn from those before you—more than half of employers (54%) 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%
- Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs: 38%
- Candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion: 32%
- Candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee: 30%
- Candidate lied about qualifications: 27%
- Candidate had poor communication skills: 27%
- Candidate was linked to criminal behavior: 26%
- Candidate shared confidential information from previous employers: 23%
- Candidate’s screen name was unprofessional: 22%
- Candidate lied about an absence: 17%
- Candidate posted too frequently: 17%
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 4 in 10 employers (44%) 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 media profiles were candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications (38%), great communication skills (37%), a professional image (36%), and creativity (35%).
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% like to gather more information before calling in a candidate for an interview, and 25% 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 (51%) use social media sites to research current employees. Thirty-four percent of employers have found content online that caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.