How recruiters check for red flags on social media

Three in five recruiters have turned down a candidate over social media content

How recruiters check for red flags on social media

Seven in 10 employers admit to checking a job candidate’s social media presence as part of the hiring process, a new study revealed.

Researchers at online employment website CareerBuilder interviewed more than 1,000 HR professionals and hiring managers across industries about the importance of using social media when screening potential hires.

Most respondents (70%) claim they use social networking sites to research prospective job candidates, while some (7%) are planning to do the same. Of those who conduct social media screening, 57% say they discovered content that caused them not to hire a candidate.

READ MORE: Five ways to use social media when recruiting

The results show how employers are paying close attention to applicants’ online presence to find out more about their character before offering them a job.

Having a social media account isn’t necessarily a prerequisite when applying for a job. However, employers appreciate having access to additional information on a potential hire.

But nearly half (47%) of hiring managers claim they are less likely to screen an applicant if they can’t find them online, while 28% say they use a candidate’s social media presence to collect more info before scheduling them for an interview. Meanwhile, one in five employers expect job candidates to already have an online presence.

Here are other highlights of the CareerBuilder survey:

What employers are looking for when checking a candidate’s social media presence

  • Information on candidate’s job qualifications (58%)
  • Candidate’s professional online persona (50%)
  • What content other netizens are posting about the candidate (34%)
  • Any possible reason not to hire the candidate (22%)

READ MORE: Social media misuse taking a dark turn

Content that could cause employers not to hire a candidate

  • Inappropriate photos, videos or information (40%)
  • Information about a candidate’s drinking or drug use (36%)
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion and other sensitive issues (31%)
  • Information linked to criminal behaviour (30%)
  • Lying about qualifications (27%)
  • Poor communication skills (27%)
  • Bad-mouthing a previous employer or fellow employee (25%)
  • Having an unprofessional screen name (22%)
  • Shared confidential information from previous employer (20%)
  • Lying about an absence (16%)
  • Posting frequently on social media (12%)

Content that helped convince employers to hire a candidate

  • Information supporting candidate’s job qualifications (37%)
  • Candidate’s creativity (34%)
  • Candidate’s site conveying a professional image (33%)
  • Information showing candidate’s wide range of interests (31%)
  • Information showing candidate is a good fit within the company culture (31%)
  • Having great communication skills (28%)
  • Awards and accolades (26%)
  • Other social media users posting great references about the job candidate (23%)
  • Interactions with the company’s social media accounts (22%)
  • Compelling video or other content (21%)
  • Large number of social media followers or subscribers (18%)

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