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45% Employers use Facebook-Twitter to screen job candidates

August 24, 2009

Forty-five Percent of Employers Use Social Networking Sites to Research Job Candidates, CareerBuilder Survey Finds
Career Expert Provides DOs and DON’Ts for Job Seekers on Social Networking

CHICAGO, August 19, 2009 – As social networking grows increasingly pervasive, more employers are utilizing these sites to screen potential employees. Forty-five percent of employers reported in a recent CareerBuilder survey that they use social networking sites to research job candidates, a big jump from 22 percent last year. Another 11 percent plan to start using social networking sites for screening. More than 2,600 hiring managers participated in the survey, which was completed in June 2009.

Of those who conduct online searches/background checks of job candidates, 29 percent use Facebook, 26 percent use LinkedIn and 21 percent use MySpace. One-in-ten (11 percent) search blogs while 7 percent follow candidates on Twitter.

The top industries most likely to screen job candidates via social networking sites or online search engines include those that specialize in technology and sensitive information: Information Technology (63 percent) and Professional & Business Services (53 percent).

Why Employers Disregarded Candidates After Screening Online

Job seekers are cautioned to be mindful of the information they post online and how they communicate directly with employers. Thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate. The top examples cited include:

Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 53 percent

Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs – 44 percent

Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients – 35 percent

Candidate showed poor communication skills – 29 percent

Candidate made discriminatory comments – 26 percent

Candidate lied about qualifications – 24 percent

Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer – 20 percent
Fourteen percent of employers have disregarded a candidate because the candidate sent a message using an emoticon such as a smiley face while 16 percent dismissed a candidate for using text language such as GR8 (great) in an e-mail or job application.

Why Employers Hired Candidates After Screening Online

Job seekers are also encouraged to leverage social media whenadvertising their skills and experience.Eighteen percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them to hire the candidate. The top examples include:

Profile provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit – 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
“Social networking is a great way to make connections with potential job opportunities and promote your personal brand across the Internet,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Make sure you are using this resource to your advantage by conveying a professional image and underscoring your qualifications.”

Haefner recommends the following DOs and DON’Ts to keep a positive image online:

1)DO clean up digital dirt BEFORE you begin your job search. Remove any photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer’s eyes.

2)DO consider creating your own professional group on sites like Facebook or BrightFuse.com to establish relationships with thought leaders, recruiters and potential referrals.

3)DO keep gripes offline. Keep the content focused on the positive, whether that relates to professional or personal information. Makes sure to highlight specific accomplishments inside and outside of work.

4)DON’T forget others can see your friends, so be selective about who you accept as friends. Monitor comments made by others. Consider using the “block comments” feature or setting your profile to “private” so only designated friends can view it.

5)DON’Tmention your job search if you’re still employed.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder.com between May 22 and June 10, 2009 among 2,667 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non- government) ages 18 and over. With a pure probability sample of 2,667 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.9 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com, is the largest in the U.S. with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to talent acquisition. More than 9,000 Web sites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164
(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com

  
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Discuss this article

dave August 25, 2009

Not right by any measure.

Brian August 30, 2009

Just wondering, how do the managers see these people’s profiles? For example in Facebook my profile is set to ‘private’ so if someone searched for me they could see I have an account and see a thumbnail of my profile pic. Finally they could also see who my friends are, but again only those same details about them.

So how would a manager be seeing more detailed stuff like wall postings or picture galleries? Is there a way around the privacy filter?

davesworkout.com August 30, 2009

Well, I think a lot of people aren’t that computer literate, and leave their accounts public – i run across that with a lot of people on there…

45% of Employers use Facebook-Twitter to Screen Job Candidates « The Observations of a Dentist in a MBA Program August 30, 2009

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bob August 30, 2009

fuck facebook and twitter

bobjones August 30, 2009

any company that wants to check your facebook/twitter before hiring you is not worth working for.

45% of Employers use Facebook-Twitter to screen job candidates - The Only Black Student August 30, 2009

[...] by Lull Mengesha on Aug.30, 2009, under Blog Click here for Article [...]

dre in the morning » Blog Archive » Executive Summary • 8/31/09 August 31, 2009

[...] increasingly pervasive, more employers are utilizing these sites to screen potential employees. (obr) [...]

You should know August 31, 2009

Whenever an employer or recruiter collects personal background information on a candidate, that action triggers a raft of legal obligations under the Privacy Act. Those obligations include that an employer must inform the candidate that they have gathered personal information as well as explain the purpose for which the information was gathered and to whom it may be disclosed.

businesses must only collect personal information that is necessary for the business, ruling out information on a social media page that is not relevant to the employee’s job history or ability to work.

Failure to comply with these laws, Maynard says, leaves companies open to disciplinary action taken against them by the Privacy Commissioner, and even possible legal action.

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/legal/20090722-dont-investigate-employees-on-facebook-expert-warns.html

Lisa August 31, 2009

People can still see your profile even if it’s set to private. I should know, I can see them and I’m not a computer person by a long shot. Think of posts this way: How would your grandma feel if she read them? Would you want your teacher/employer/extended family reading them to the whole class/at the office/at Christmas dinner? If not, then don’t post trash. Grow up, people. No one wants to know how drunk/stoned/loose you were last night.

indiecognition August 31, 2009

Companies purport to respect and support employees’ work-life balances. But when prospective employees actually have a life with online figments, they’re no longer qualified, unless all they put on facebook is how awesome work is? If you’re a company screening me before a hiring decision, please consider: do you want someone who’s a real person with interests, opinions, and personal pursuits? Or do you just want a drone?

I second bobjones…any company that’d fire or decline to hire someone for having unprofessional information on facebook or twitter is worse than the Soylent Corp. Sure, putting racist or patently offensive material online says a lot about one’s employability…but beyond blatant criminal plotting/evidence or hatemongering, employers must respect people’s privacy and right to express non-work-related things without penalty. A company that can’t stomach the possibility that its employees might have intellectual, political, creative, recreational, or other pursuits — aka a life — is pretty pathetic and Dickensian.

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[...] There are more good tips throughout this article from Career Builder, via the Oregon Business News – 45% of Employers use Facebook-Twitter to screen job candidates [...]

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Do not forget they also check your credit history, so get your credit
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[...] September 4, 2009 Posted by Wille in Corporate Stupidity, Management. trackback 45% of employers apparently screen prospective employees via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. I think that’s great, personally I’d rather get a gig [...]

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Tom September 6, 2009

After reading this I’ve locked down my profiles, so now only friends can see them…

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Peruo September 9, 2009

What can Twitter actually do for my business?

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[...] el poblado al otro lado del río), pero que ahora son omnipresentes y además, tienen la virtud de dejar registradas las interacciones, querámoslo o no, de modo que ahora seamos capaces de conocer a tus amigos sin preguntarte (un [...]

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[...] against an article I found through facebook which has the US of A down for 45% It is easy to observe why the 31% are on-line, recent news where Nomura used facebook to rehire 60% [...]

Jeremy Langhans November 6, 2009

Feel free to let your audience know about the official Starbucks Coffee Company Twitter page for Jobs:

@StarbucksJobs

http://www.Twitter.com/StarbucksJobs

Thank you,

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Starbucks Coffee Company | 2401 Utah Ave. S. | Seattle, WA 98134
p: 206-318-5429| e: jlanghan@starbucks.com

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Marc December 5, 2009

Anybody discovered the study’s original source?

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Riordan Taylor December 17, 2009

14% of employers have turned down a candidate because they used a smiley face or emoticon in a message. Wow taht is so ridiculous, I cant imagine why using an emoticon is so horrible that a company would not hire someone because of it.

Best Job Search and Career Articles of 2009 « MyOnlineCareerSpace.com December 18, 2009

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lilkakayna January 25, 2010

good paragraph nice

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joel February 5, 2010

Totally necassary. Employers have the right to look at what you post

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berry May 11, 2010

it was not all that good of a artical

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Sparky667 March 9, 2011

If you had kids and checked your babysitters FaceBook to find that she was a heavy drinker and constant drug user, would you let her continue to watch your kids?

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