- Employers may peruse a LinkedIn profile to round out their perception of a candidate, but 70% of them move on to sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to do a little more digging on potential hires, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder. Of those who spotted a questionable photo or an eyebrow-raising tweet, 57% said they decided not to hire the applicant because of it. Broken down by industry, recruiters in IT and manufacturing are more likely than those in retail or non-retail sales to use social media to research job candidates, the survey found.
- A positive social media presence can help a candidate as much as an unprofessional, inappropriate profile can hurt someone's chances at a job. Almost half (47%) of employers said they are less likely to call a person if they can't find a corresponding profile — 28% said that's because they like a little more information before they pick up the phone, and 20% said they expect candidates to maintain an online persona. When recruitment officers scan a candidate's Facebook page, more than half look for information supporting their job qualifications, while a third take into account what others post about the candidate and a fifth have their eyes on reasons why they shouldn't hire the candidate.
- Survey respondents rated provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information as the primary reason they didn't hire someone, closely followed by information about a candidate drinking or using drugs and discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion. Employers rated evidence of professional qualifications the highest in terms of content that would persuade them to hire someone. They said they liked seeing a candidate's creativity and a persona that conveys a professional image.
While a peek into a candidate's life via social media profiles may offer some useful information, hiring managers should approach social media screening with thoughtful guidance and a framework, experts have told HR Dive. The person who screens social media content, for example, should not have the final say at the end of the hiring process. And the screening should adhere to a few red flags, like hate speech, rather than a nebulous perception of bad vibes. A manager could rule out a candidate who posts something obscene, but can't deny interviews based on protected classes like race or religion.
The survey also examined how employers use social media after they've given a candidate the job: 48% of employers say they browse social networking sites to research current employees, and 10% do it on a daily basis. A little more than a third of employers say they've seen something online that caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.
With some state and local off-duty conduct protections as an exception, private employers can usually fire employees for behavior outside the job, experts told HR Dive. And because people love to post photos and videos of their activities online in real time, red flags appear before employers eyes at an unprecedented rate — something everyone has to keep in mind in the age of social media.