News Column

Employers Finding Reasons Not to Hire Candidates on Social Media

July 8, 2013

While a social media profile can be a great asset in the job search, a new CareerBuilder study shows it can also end up costing an applicant the job.

According to a release, more than two in five (43 percent) hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate, up 9 percentage points from last year.

The company noted that the survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 11 to March 6, and included more than 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals, found that nearly two in five companies (39 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 37 percent last year.

CareerBuilder said the survey found employers who took a candidate out of the running for a job after researching social media sites reported finding a variety of concerning content. Top mentions ranged from evidence of inappropriate behavior to information that contradicted their listed qualifications:

-Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info 50 percent

-There was info about candidate drinking or using drugs 48 percent

-Candidate bad mouthed previous employer 33 percent

-Candidate had poor communication skills 30 percent

-Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. 28 percent

-Candidate lied about qualifications 24 percent

Further, at the same time, some employers also noted that they came across information on social media sites that made a candidate more attractive or solidified the decision to extend a job offer. One in five hiring managers (19 percent) said they found something that has caused them to hire a candidate top mentions include:

-Candidate conveyed a professional image 57 percent

-Got a good feel for candidate's personality 50 percent

-Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests 50 percent

-Candidate's background information supported professional qualifications 49 percent

-Candidate was creative 46 percent

-Great communication skills 43 percent

-Other people posted great references about the candidate 38 percent

"Employers are using all the tools available to them to assure they make the correct hiring decision, and the use of social media continues to grow," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "For job seekers it is essential to be aware of what information they're making available to employers, and to manage their online image. At the same time, hiring managers and human resources departments must carefully consider how to use information obtained from social media and whether it is relevant to a candidate's qualifications."

The research suggests that hiring managers are using social media to get a glimpse at the candidate's behavior and personality outside of the interview, and are most interested in professional presentation and how the candidate would fit with the company culture.

To make sure social media profiles send the right message, Haefner suggests:

-Search Yourself

-Read Your Privacy Settings

-Showcase Your Talent

-Keep Tabs

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,184 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self- employed, non-government) between February 11 and March 6, (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,184, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.1 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

For more stories covering business, please see HispanicBusiness' Business Channel

Source: Copyright Professional Services Close - Up 2013. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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