More Employers Say Social Media Thwarts Candidates’ Prospects

Chicago — June 26

While a social media profile can be a great asset in a job search, a new CareerBuilder study shows it can also end up costing a prospect the job.

About 43 percent of hiring managers who research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate, up 9 percentage points from last year, according to the CareerBuilder study.

The nationwide survey — conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder from Feb. 11 to March 6 of more than 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals — found that nearly two in five companies (39 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 37 percent last year.

Employers who took a candidate out of the running for a job after researching social media sites reported finding a variety of concerning content. Top mentions ranged from evidence of inappropriate behavior to information that contradicted their listed qualifications:

• Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info: 50 percent.
• There was info about candidate drinking or using drugs: 48 percent.
• Candidate bad-mouthed previous employer: 33 percent.
• Candidate had poor communication skills: 30 percent.
• Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.: 28 percent.
• Candidate lied about qualifications: 24 percent.

At the same time, some employers also noted that they came across information on social media sites that made a candidate more attractive or solidified the decision to extend a job offer. One-in-five hiring managers (19 percent) said they found something that has caused them to hire a candidate.

Top mentions include:

• Candidate conveyed a professional image: 57 percent.
• Got a good feel for candidate’s personality: 50 percent.
• Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests: 50 percent.
• Candidate’s background information supported professional qualifications: 49 percent.
• Candidate was creative: 46 percent.
• Great communication skills: 43 percent.

Source: CareerBuilder