- Employers might not be learning as much about candidates from social media as they need to, according to a survey by JDP. The employment screening and background check experts said 84% of the 2,007 workers who responded understand that social media can impact hiring decisions, and almost 50% of respondents said they have removed posts or whole profiles to protect their professional image.
- In addition, 50% of respondents said they don't think employers should be allowed to search for candidates on social media, and 40% have opened an alias account while 43% use privacy settings to hide material they don't want revealed to employers or co-workers.
- The the types of information and behaviors respondents hid most from public view were personal (70%), unprofessional (56%) and political (44%), JDP said. Sixty-six percent said they are most likely to delete old posts or profiles from Facebook, which is the platform most respondents said they want to keep most hidden.
According to a study conducted this spring, 60% of employers always screen a potential hire's social media profiles for red flags. But when information that would normally rule out a candidate is hidden on social media, such as sexual misconduct or illegal drug use, an employer's pre-screening efforts can be thwarted. Recruiters might consider background checks and thorough reference checks, along with a social media screening, to ensure that they've sourced the right candidates and brought on the right hires.
However, experts have cautioned employers to designate a person to screen candidates' social media accounts who will not be the one to make the final hiring decision. The social media screener should be instructed to only point out red flags, such as hate speech, from a predetermined list in order to control for their own implicit biases.
Despite the challenges that social media screening presents, these platforms are valuable sources for sourcing candidates. For example, 14% of respondents in a Clutch survey found a job through social media. These platforms are also where job ads are easily accessible for candidates and recruiters via mobile tech, too.