More employers are utilizing social networking sites to screen potential employees. Forty-five percent of employers reported in a recent CareerBuilder survey that they use social networking sites to research job candidates, a big jump from 22 percent last year. Another 11 percent plan to start using social networking sites for screening.
Of those who conduct online searches/background checks of job candidates, 29 percent use Facebook, 26 percent use LinkedIn and 21 percent use MySpace. One-in-ten (11 percent) search blogs while 7 percent follow candidates on Twitter.
Why did 35 percent of employers find that caused them to “knock-out” candidates after searching online? The top examples cited include:
- Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 53 percent
- Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs – 44 percent
- Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients – 35 percent
- Candidate showed poor communication skills – 29 percent
- Candidate made discriminatory comments – 26 percent
- Candidate lied about qualifications – 24 percent
- Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer – 20 percent
Fourteen percent of employers have disregarded a candidate because the candidate sent a message using an emoticon such as a smiley face while 16 percent dismissed a candidate for using text language such as GR8 (great) in an e-mail or job application.
On the other hand, 18 percent of employers found online screening helpful and they hired candidates using the information as part of the selection process.
The top examples include:
- Profile provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit – 50 percent
- Profile supported candidate’s professional qualifications – 39 percent
- Candidate was creative – 38 percent
- Candidate showed solid communication skills – 35 percent
- Candidate was well-rounded – 33 percent
- Other people posted good references about the candidate – 19 percent
- Candidate received awards and accolades – 15 percent
Is it fair and valid to use information found on a social networking site to hire or not hire? What relevance does what one does on their personal time have to do with ability to perform at work? What do you think?