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Social Media Keeps Candidates from Getting Hired

(posted: August 19th, 2018)

Hiring mangers screen candidates with social media

Are you Googling job candidates and scanning their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn feeds? You aren't alone.

CareerBuilder's recent survey of hiring managers and human resources professionals about their use of social media in hiring and monitoring employees showed that 70 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, and 60 percent Google their candidates.

What are employers looking for? According to the survey, the primary things hiring managers are searching for about their job candidates are:

  • Information that supports their qualifications for the job: 58 percent
  • If the candidate has a professional online persona: 50 percent
  • What other people are posting about the candidate: 34 percent
  • A reason not to hire the candidate: 22 percent

California Employers Take Note

California employers need to pay attention to the legal restrictions on access to or use of applicant/employee social media posts as, under California law, employers are prohibited from requiring or requesting applicants or employees to disclose information regarding their personal social media accounts.

Employers can peruse social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for an employee's or applicant's public information, but cannot request a password to see information that might not be shared with the public or require the candidate to "be a friend" or allow the employer to "follow."

No Online Presence? No Job!

According to CareerBuilder, nearly half of employers (47 percent) say that if they can't find a job candidate online, they are less likely to call that person in for an interview. 28 percent say that is because they like to gather more information before calling in a candidate for an interview, while 20 percent say they simply expect candidates to have an online presence.

Content that Kills...Your Hiring Chances

Social media is an ever-growing presence in our lives, so you would think that people would be more careful about what they post, especially active job-seekers, but that is not always the case. Content that employers said caused them not to hire a candidate included:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information: 40 percent
  • Posts about them drinking or using drugs: 36 percent
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.: 31 percent
  • Linked to criminal behavior: 30 percent
  • Lies about qualifications: 27 percent
  • Poor communication skills: 27 percent
  • Bad-mouthing previous company or fellow employee: 25 percent
  • Screen name was unprofessional: 22 percent
  • Shared confidential information from previous employers: 20 percent
  • Lied about an absence: 16 percent
  • Posting too frequently: 12 percent

What Gets a Candidate Hired?

It's not all negative. Hiring managers did find content on social media that pushed them into hiring a particular candidate. What did hiring managers perceive as positive in an online presence?

  • Background information supported professional qualifications for the job: 37 percent
  • Candidate was creative: 34 percent
  • Site conveyed a professional image: 33 percent
  • Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests: 31 percent
  • Good feel for the job candidate's personality, could see a good fit within the company culture: 31 percent
  • Great communications skills: 28 percent
  • Received awards and accolades: 26 percent
  • Other people posted great references about the job candidate: 23 percent
  • Candidate had interacted with company's social media accounts: 22 percent
  • Posted compelling video or other content: 21 percent
  • Had a large number of followers or subscribers: 18 percent

How do you use social media in your recruiting efforts, beyond sourcing? Do you research your job candidates online? Do you check out candidates before interviewing, or only after you've interviewed them and are considering hiring them?

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  • Social Media Keeps Candidates from Getting Hired

    A recent survey of hiring managers and human resources professionals about their use of social media in hiring and monitoring employees showed that 70 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.

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