“Recruiters for about 45 percent of employers are using social networking sites to research job candidates, a jump from 22 percent in 2008, according to a June 2009 CareerBuilder.com survey of 2,600 hiring managers. Another 11 percent plan to start using social networking sites for screening. Of those who conducted online searches, 35 percent found content on the sites that caused them not to hire a candidate, according to the survey. And, in a 2010 Microsoft-commissioned survey, 70 percent of the 275 U.S. recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers that responded said they have rejected candidates based on information they found online.” – Dori Meinert, Senior Writer for HR Magazine, February 2011
So why are employers and recruiters making such a big push toward social networking as part of their screening process? Simply to determine if someone is a cultural fit for the organization. But this isn’t always bad. Employers also look for job candidates who post informative articles, educated opinions, published work – information that will reflect positively on an applicant.
Here’s a bit of advice for our “social butterfly” job seekers: Keep your profiles private, understand your social media security options, and revisit your photos and content to determine what stays and what goes. Put your name in a search engine and see what information and images you find and contact the appropriate webmaster to have any unwanted cached content deleted permanently.
“There’s nothing that screams more accurately who you are than a Facebook page.” – Van Allen, Owner of The Hire Connection (excerpt from Dori Meinert, Seeing Behind the Mask, HR Magazine).