70% of Employers Use Social Networking Sites to Research Candidates During Hiring Process

August 8, 2018 Ladan Nikravan Hayes

Nowadays hiring professionals have an additional weapon to screen candidates and they’re using it now more than ever — social media as a recruitment tool. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates (on par with last year, the highest in 10 years), and 7 percent plan to start. And that review matters: Of those that do social research, 43 percent have found content that caused them to hire candidates. On the other hand, of these employers, 57 percent have found content that caused them not to.

Who’s Finding What?

Broken down by industry, those in IT* (74 percent) and manufacturing (73 percent) are more likely than those in retail/non-retail sales* (59 percent) to do social networking digging on potential job candidates. But it’s not just the social sites that are fair game – 66 percent of employers say they use search engines to conduct their research on potential job candidates.

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, 20 percent say they expect candidates to have an online presence.

According to employers who use social networking sites to research potential job candidates, what they’re looking for when researching candidates is:

  • 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

It’s Not Just About Screening

Employers continue to monitor employees’ online presence even after they’re hired. Nearly half of employers (48 percent) say they use social networking sites to research current employees — 10 percent do it daily. Further, a third of employers (34 percent) have found content online that caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.

Is Social Media All Bad?

Overall, social media is usually seen as a drain on workplace productivity. Management’s immediate thought is that if you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instragram, you’re not getting your work accomplished. But that’s not always the case. Social media breaks can act as a quick mood enhancer, and some organizations use social media tools (albeit not the big ones we all know and love) to communicate with employees.

Because employees have their own mobile devices in the workplace, blocking access to social sites via your company networks won’t stop employees from engaging in the same behavior the blocks were designed to prevent. The best thing to do is to set guidelines and expectations.

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