Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Employee Engagement > Social Media > Survey Results > Talent Acquisition

Nearly Half of Employers Use Social Networking Sites to Screen Job Candidates

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)
Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
5 comments
Aponda
Aponda

I don’t think businesses should have the right to peep through personal facebook pages. It would be all the same if they got permission to come to your home and read your journals. Most people are able to keep their bad habits to themselves. Your personal thoughts and actions shouldn’t be an employer's business unless you start bring personal issues to work.

There was a time when a person’s personal life was separate from their professional life. A co-worker's personal life was just that, personal. People would come to work doing their job and go home. Some of my most phenomenal co-workers were people that I’d never hang out with as friends and that was cool. I learned a lot from them professional because they were great at their JOBS. Nowadays, I feel like employers who go through facebook pages are looking for friends at work and that’s counterproductive to me. This is how diversity in the workplace starts to slack off. First, you're making sure candidates are mellow non-smokers. The next thing you know, you're excluding people because of their political views or other affiliations. We have so much resegregation going on now, I'm starting to wonder how much of it started out with searching for "the right fit".

I wish they'd stick to doing regular background checks and leave the friendship searches for after hours.

Aponda
Aponda

I don’t think businesses should have the right to peep through personal facebook pages. It would be all the same if they got permission to come to your home and read your journals. Most people are able to keep their bad habits to themselves. Your personal thoughts and actions shouldn’t be an employer's business unless you start bring personal issues to work.

There was a time when a person’s personal life was separate from their professional life. A co-worker's personal life was just that, personal. People would come to work doing their job and go home. Some of my most phenomenal co-workers were people that I’d never hang out with as friends and that was cool. I learned a lot from them professional because they were great at their JOBS. Nowadays, I feel like employers who go through facebook pages are looking for friends at work and that’s counterproductive to me. This is how diversity in the workplace starts to slack off. First, you're making sure candidates are mellow non-smokers. The next thing you know, you're excluding people because of their political views or other affiliations. We have so much resegregation going on now, I'm starting to wonder how much of it started out with searching for "the right fit".

I wish they'd stick to doing regular background checks and leave the friendship searches for after hours.

Perry Mizota
Perry Mizota

Have you done a more recent survey on this topic? I'm guessing that the percentage of employers who use social networking sites to screen job candidates has gone up even more.

At Reppler, we developed a service that helps users keep their Facebook image clean and safe. One of the primary use cases for the service is job seekers.

Perry Mizota
Perry Mizota

Have you done a more recent survey on this topic? I'm guessing that the percentage of employers who use social networking sites to screen job candidates has gone up even more.

At Reppler, we developed a service that helps users keep their Facebook image clean and safe. One of the primary use cases for the service is job seekers.

Mary Lorenz
Mary Lorenz

Funny you should ask, Perry. (I'm curious to know myself!) We're going to release the results of an updated survey in late June/early July, so come back to check it out!

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  38. Trackback says:

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  39. Trackback says:

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  40. Trackback says:

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  41. Trackback says:

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  42. Trackback says:

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