Everybody and their mother is on social media now, so it’s not surprising that recruiters and hiring managers feel comfortable looking to networks like Facebook or Twitter to get a better picture of candidates they’re considering for a job.According to CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey, hiring managers are likely to use social networks to screen candidates, and 35 percent of employers view a lack of presence online as a cause for concern.
“Researching candidates via social media and other online sources has transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of online recruitment,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “In a competitive job market, recruiters are looking for all the information they can find that might help them make decisions. Rather than go off the grid, job seekers should make their professional persona visible online, and ensure any information that could dissuade prospective employers is made private or removed.”
What does this mean for you?
Once you find a candidate’s profile, keep in mind that you’re not browsing for new friends — you’re looking to verify the person’s identity and see their soft skills, like communication or positivity. Six in 10 (60 percent) employers 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-six percent of recruiters want to see if the candidate has a professional online persona, and 37 percent want to see what other people are posting about the candidate.
The industries most likely to find searching on social media a useful practice are information technology (76 percent of employers have used social media to screen candidates), financial services (64 percent of employers) and sales (61 percent).