LONDON – 20 May 2015 – What job seekers post on their social networking profiles can be both a blessing and a curse for their chances of finding employment, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder.co.uk.
Fifty-two per cent of employers have researched job candidates on social media, and a further 10 per cent plan to start, the national survey, conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder.co.uk, surveying more than 400 employers, reveals.
And it’s not the professional networking sites that employers are examining. Sixty-two per cent check Facebook and 45 per cent look at a candidate’s Twitter feed, compared to 44 per cent using the professional networking site LinkedIn and 22 per cent on Google+. Image sharing sites aren’t exempt from scrutiny either. Nearly one in ten (nine per cent) refer to Instagram, and eight per cent to Pinterest. Employers are using search engines too: Forty-nine per cent of employers use search engines such as Google to research potential job candidates, and 11 per cent plan to start.
Of those who have researched candidates on social media, 42 per cent have found content that caused them to not hire the candidate and 18 per cent 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 per cent)
- Job candidate had poor communications skills (32 per cent)
- Job candidate lied about qualifications (30 per cent)
- Job candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (28 per cent)
- Job candidate posted too frequently (24 per cent)
- Job candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or a fellow employee (23 per cent)
- Job candidate’s screen name was unprofessional (23 per cent)
- Job candidate lied about an absence (22 per cent)
- Job candidate was linked to criminal behavior (22 per cent)
- Job candidate shared confidential information from the previous employer (20 per cent)
- Job candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. (20 per cent)
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 per cent)
- Job candidate was creative (38 per cent)
- Job candidate’s site conveyed a professional image (31 per cent)
- Job candidate had great communications skills (29 per cent)
- Job candidate received awards and accolades (29 per cent)
- Job candidate was well-rounded – (26 per cent)
- Job candidate posted compelling video or other content (28 per cent)
- Got a good feel for the job candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the company (27 per cent)
- Job candidate had a large amount of followers or subscribers (25 per cent)
- Job candidate had interacted with my company’s social media accounts (18 per cent)
- Other people posted great references (8 per cent)
“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.”
The survey was conducted among 400 adults with decision making influence for hiring staff in the UK. The interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research in March & April 2015 using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.9 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.
Georgina Routen/Shannon McGuirk