Survey: 2 in 3 Small Business Employers Use Social Media to Screen Candidates

Pete Jansons

These days, people use social media sites to research everything from restaurants they should eat at and hotels they should stay at to house cleaning and automotive services. So it makes sense that more and more employers are turning to social media to look up job candidates they are considering hiring.

According to recent CareerBuilder research, nearly two thirds of small business employers (65 percent) use social networking sites to research potential job candidates - up from 57 percent who said the same last year. When asked what type of information they were looking for, most (64 percent) said they were looking for information that supports their qualifications for their job, and just over half (51 percent) wanted to see if the candidate had a professional online persona. Nearly 2 in 5 (38 percent) wanted to see what other people were posting about the candidate, while 1 in 4 (26 percent) were looking for reasons not to hire the candidate.

Of the employers who used research candidates via social networking sites, 52 percent have found content on these sites that caused them not to hire a candidate (up from 47 percent last year). Such content included provocative or inappropriate photographs, information about the candidate drinking or using drugs, and discriminatory comments about age, race, gender, etc.

On the other hand, 39 percent said they found information that caused them to hire a candidate (up from 28 percent last year), such as seeing that the candidate’s background information supported job qualifications, the candidate’s personality came across as good fit with company culture and the candidate conveying a professional image.

What to Know Before Using Social Media to Screen Candidates

While a candidate’s social media presence can reveal much more than a resume, it’s important to remember that social media still doesn’t give you the whole picture -- or the most accurate one. While social media can be a quick way to check up on an employee, a safer, more accurate and more comprehensive method is to use a background check service, such as Aurico, which will mitigate hiring mistakes even further - and the costs that come with it.

Find a background screening service for your small business. Check out How to Find the Right Background Check Provider.

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