How Recruiters Screen You on Social Media

Ever wonder what recruiters are looking for when they scan your social media accounts? Well the folks at CareerBuilder did a survey with some important results. If you have anything on this list you may want to go through your posts and delete it.

“Tools such as Facebook and Twitter enable employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a resume or cover letter,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “And with more and more people using social media, it’s not unusual to see the usage for recruitment to grow as well.”

Hiring managers in information technology and sales are the most likely to use social networks to screen candidates; professional and business services were least likely.

  • IT: 76 percent
  • Sales: 65 percent
  • Financial services: 61 percent
  • Health care: 59 percent
  • Retail: 59 percent
  • Manufacturing: 56 percent
  • Professional and business services: 55 percent

Most hiring managers aren’t intentionally looking for negatives. Six in ten employers who currently use social networking sites to research job candidates (60 percent) are “looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job,” according to the survey. For some occupations, this could include a professional portfolio. Fifty-three percent of these hiring managers want to see if the candidate has a professional online persona, 30 percent want to see what other people are posting about the candidate, and 21 percent admit they’re looking for reasons not to hire the candidate.

Generally speaking, a recruiter will Google you or search your name on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google if they are interested in learning more about you. When they do that, what will they find about you?

Friending the Recruiter

There’s a lot of buzz about the various ways social media blunders can cost you a job, but that doesn’t mean you should keep your profiles completely private. More than two in five employers (41 percent) say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online — a 6 percent increase since last year.

Thirty-six percent of employers who screen via social networks have requested to “be a friend” or follow candidates who have private accounts. Of that group, 68 percent say they’ve been granted permission – down from 80 percent last year.

Depending on what hiring managers find, candidates’ online information can help or hurt their odds of getting a job. Forty-nine percent of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate – on par with last year 48 percent. The following are the top pieces of content that turned off these employers:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information – 46 percent
  • Information about candidate drinking or using drugs – 43 percent
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. – 33 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 31 percent
  • Poor communication skills – 29 percent

About one-third of employers who screen candidates via social networks (32 percent), however, found information that caused them to hire a candidate, including:

  • Candidate’s background information supported job qualifications – 44 percent
  • Candidate’s site conveyed a professional image – 44 percent
  • Candidate’s personality came across as a good fit with company culture – 43 percent
  • Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests – 40 percent
  • Candidate had great communication skills – 36 percent
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