70% of Employers View Social Media Profiles Before Hiring
A 2017 CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,300 US-based hiring managers and HR professionals revealed that job seekers absolutely need to be smart about their online personas:
- 70% of survey respondents said they use social networks to screen candidates before they hire.
- 69% perform online searches (via Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to research prospective employees.
- 3 in 10 employers have an HR staff member who is dedicated to social recruiting.
The simple reality is that employers aren’t just looking to look; they are relying on their online findings to guide the decision-making process. In fact, 36% of respondents look online to gather information even before an initial interview. And 24% said that one of the main motives for going online is to find “a reason not to hire a candidate.”
As with college recruits, there can be positive details revealed through candidates’ social media presence. However, while 44% of employers said their online research drove them to hire an applicant, 54% said their findings had the opposite effect. The most problematic types of content were risqué photos and videos; posts about drug and alcohol use; and inflammatory comments related to religion, race, or gender. But even seemingly innocuous details and behaviors — such as using an unprofessional screen name or posting too frequently — created negative impressions with prospective employers.
That said, deleting social accounts entirely can also work against you. More than half (57%) of employers said that they are less likely to call someone who does not have an online presence, and 25% of those admitted that they expect to find information about candidates online.
Reading between the lines, it seems that employers want to see evidence that job candidates can use social media responsibly. Interestingly, 51% of survey respondents said they continue to monitor their employees even after they are hired, and 34% indicated those efforts have led them to reprimand or fire a member of their staff.
What Does Your Online Persona Say About You?
Because there are so many social media platforms and so many people posting on a daily basis, it can be easy to forget that what you share with others is a direct reflection of who you are as a person. Regardless of what your privacy settings are, you should consider your posts to be a public and permanent record of your online persona.
While we’ve certainly talked a lot about the cybersecurity implications of oversharing on social media, there are plenty of practical ramifications to consider as well. Are you taking control of — and being careful with — your online persona? Or could your posts come back to haunt you?