Twenty-one percent of hiring managers admit they use social media to find reasons not to hire a job candidate.
Nearly three million Americans quite their jobs in March, an encouraging sign of confidence in the labor market in which workers feel confident enough to leave one job for another. About 2.8 million workers quit their jobs, up from 2.7 million, according to a Labor Department report this week. That’s the most since April 2008.
Those who want to give themselves the best chance to find a new job are advised to establish a professional online presence, according to CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey. More than one-third of employers (35 percent) indicate they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online.
More than half (52 percent) of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 43 percent last year and 39 percent in 2013. “Researching candidates via social media and other online sources has transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of online recruitment,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said in a statement. “In a competitive job market, recruiters are looking for all the information they can find that might help them make decisions.”
And that information isn’t necessarily negative, Haefner said, although common sense would dictate that a job seeker would want to remove any content that would dissuade a hiring manager from considering a candidate. Six in ten surveyed hiring managers in fact, are “looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job,” the survey finds. 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, 37 percent want to see what other people are posting about the candidate, and 21 percent admit they’re looking for reasons not to hire the candidate.
Hiring managers in information technology are the most likely to use social networks to screen candidates (76 percent), followed by:
· Financial Services: 64 percent
· Sales: 61 percent
· Professional & Business Services: 54 percent
· Manufacturing: 49 percent
· Health Care: 49 percent
· Retail: 46 percent
About that negative content, people may be getting the message that it might not be a good idea to post those bachelor party or spring break photos and videos. Nearly half (48 percent) of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate – down slightly from 51 percent last year.
To top hiring manager turn-offs are:
· Provocative or inappropriate photographs (46 percent)
· Information about candidate drinking or using drugs (40 percent)
· Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee (34 percent)
· Poor communication skills (30 percent)
· Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. (29 percent)
On a more constructive note, 32 percent found information that caused them to hire a candidate, including:
· Candidate’s background information supported job qualifications (42 percent)
· Candidate’s personality came across as good fit with company culture (38 percent)
· Candidate’s site conveyed a professional image (38 percent)
· Candidate had great communication skills (37 percent)
· Candidate was creative (36 percent)
Interestingly, a separate survey found that some savvy job seekers are using social media to check out hiring managers on social media, with 38 percent of that group seeking to directly interact with that individual.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.