Wow…according to CareerBuilder’s latest survey, the number of employers using social networking sites to screen candidates has more than doubled in the last year.
Out of more than 2,600 hiring managers, 45 percent reported using social networking sites to research job candidates’ backgrounds for information that verified – or supplemented – the information on their resumes. This finding represents a huge increase from the 22 percent of hiring managers who said the same thing last year.
The most popular site to search, not surprisingly, is Facebook, followed closely by LinkedIn and MySpace. Searching blogs and following candidates on Twitter were also popular means of screening. (Looks like you’re safe, Friendster users.)
(Side note/shameless plug: As of yesterday, hiring managers have a new social networking site on which to research candidates: Brightfuse, CareerBuilder’s new professional networking site. Check out the press release here.)
Of those who searched social networking sites to screen candidates, as many as 35 percent found content on that caused them not to hire the candidate, such as:
- Provocative/ inappropriate photographs or information (53 percent)
- Content about drinking or using drugs (44 percent)
- Bad-mouthing of previous employers, co-workers or clients (35 percent)
- Poor communication skills (29 percent)
- Discriminatory comments (26 percent)
- Misrepresentation of qualifications (24 percent)
- Shared confidential information from a previous employer (20 percent)
Speaking of poor communication skills…14 percent of hiring managers have disregarded a candidate for sending a message using an emoticon such as a smiley face, and 16 percent did the same when a candidate used text language (e.g. GR8 for “great”) in an email or job application.
But it’s not all bad news for job seekers: 18 percent of hiring managers have found content on social networking sites that convinced them to hire the candidate. The top examples include:
- Profile provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit within the organization (50 percent)
- Profile supported candidate’s professional qualifications (39 percent)
- Candidate was creative (38 percent)
- Candidate showed solid communication skills (35 percent)
- Candidate was well-rounded (33 percent)
- Other people posted good references about the candidate (19 percent)
- Candidate received awards and accolades (15 percent)