60% Employers Use Social Media to Screen Job Candidates

Amy K. McDonnell

If you’ve ever found yourself accidentally checking out a job candidate’s wedding photo album on Facebook, cringing at a candidate’s Instagram quote, or following along with a candidate’s live-Tweeting of their run-in with Ryan Gosling at the grocery store – when all you initially meant to do was get a peek into their personalities and qualifications – you’re far from alone: Today, not only do the majority of employers go on social media to check up on candidates, but the number of those who do has increased 500 percent over the last decade.

According to CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals and more than 3,000 full-time U.S. workers, 60 percent of employers revealed they use social networking sites to research job candidates. This is up significantly from 52 percent last year, 22 percent in 2008 and 11 percent in 2006, when the survey was first conducted. Additionally, 59 percent of hiring managers use search engines to research candidates – compared to 51 percent last year.

Falling down a rabbit hole of someone’s Wikipedia page or Facebook comment threads happens to the best of us — but when it comes to gleaning information on candidates through social profiles, professionalism and relevance on the part of hiring managers and recruiters is key. 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 the 48 percent who said the same last year.

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