Survey on Employer Use of Social Network Sites in Recruiting and Screening
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Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn now appear to be the three social network sites set to lead the way with social innovation over the next few years, with no end to their ascent in sight. Of course, there are also relative newcomers like Pinterest and Facebook’s new aquisition, Instagram, coming on fast.
The participation of so many millions of people in these various social networks has had major effects on both the recruitment industry and job seekers.
Survey of employers on use of social network sites
The following video/slide show/infographic, originally published by Ciphr, shows the results of a recent survey of three hundred randomly selected employers that sheds some light on how recruiters are using social media today. The study was conducted by Reppler and Lab42.
(If, like me, you’re too impatient for video and want to just skim the information at your own pace, it’s all in bullets below the video. Otherwise, the video is quite pretty and has the added benefit of lots of bar graphs to help you visualize the results better.)
- 91% used social network sites to screen applicants. Of these:
- 76% used Facebook
- 53% used Twitter
- 48% used LinkedIn
- Employers surveyed varied as to when in the recruiting/hiring process they look at social network information:
- 47% right after receiving an application
- 27% after an initial conversation with an applicant
- 15% only after detailed conversations (i.e., interviews)
- 4% right before making an offer
- 61% had rejected candidates, doing so for a variety of reasons based on information found on candidates’ social networking pages:
- 13% for lying about qualifications
- 11% for inappropriate photos
- 11% for inappropriate comments
- 11% for comments about a previous employer
- 11% for poor communication
- 10% for drugs
- 10% for discriminatory comments
- 9% for drinking
- 7% for sharing confidential employer information
- The news, thankfully, isn’t all bad for applicants. The survey results also show that having a well-groomed and colorful network site page can actually work quite nicely to your favor, as 68% of surveyed employers hired candidates based on the following positive information on an applicant’s social networking pages:
- 39% — a positive impression of an applicant’s personality based on their social network presence
- 36% — profile supported the applicant’s claimed qualifications
- 36% — profile showed the applicant’s creativity
- 34% — profile contained good references from others
- 33% — profile showed good communication skills
- 33% — profile showed a well-rounded person
- 24% — profile showed awards and accolades
A few social networking tips for applicants
Of course, we all enjoy posting silly photographs on our facebook pages, but people who do not know us personally may find them inappropriate, undignified, and worse–and that may hurt or ruin our job chances.
It’s therefore essential to have your facebook account set to a high degree of privacy–virtually all information for “friends only”–while searching out that dream job. If you have a lot of Facebook friends, you should probably also review the list and “unfriend” anyone who might disclose your information in a way that could harm your job search–such as a former coworker now employed by a company you’d like to work for.
Although these steps should shield your Facebook account against intruders who might damage your job opportunities, there’s little that you can do about your Twitter account. Many people therefore use two Twitter accounts, one for personal use and another for professional. Although both are easily searchable, most people use pseudonyms for some measure of privacy.