How employers screen job applicants using social media

We’ve all heard the stories of people who put crazy statements on their Facebook status, causing not only great embarrassment to them, but often cause them to lose their jobs too.

Crazy status updates

You know the kind of thing…. “OMG, I am sooooo hungover, hope everyone is having fun working today while I have a ‘sickie’ “ or “I SO hate my boss blah blah blah”.

Okay, so these really are extreme examples of stupidity online, but what is truly amazing though, is quite how many people put little or no thought into their online presence.

Don’t forget that the starting point for most people when looking to research potential clients, candidates, employers, business partners, colleagues or friends is Google. They open a web browser and they search.

If you want to stand out from the crowd

If you want to stand out from the crowd, and show yourself as different and memorable, just a little time invested in producing a great online presence goes a long, long way. Most people now have a Facebook page and/or Twitter profile. Most of us are on Linked In and some even blog. This is all great and a step in the right direction.

And the importance of a great online presence, doesn’t end there. If you ever wondered how a potential employer uses social media in the hiring process, here are some stats that I found recently and they are quite eye opening (source: reppler.com).

So, with these in mind, it really is time to have another look at what you put out onto the world-wide web. And while you are at it, get onto that privacy policy page and limit who can see what about you.

Remember, no matter how careful you usually are, one mistake will not go away. What you put online you cannot take away.

Contact me

For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at james@jamesnathan.com, use the contact page on my website www.jne-recruitment-academy.com or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @recruit_eagle, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.

I look forward to speaking soon.

Views: 20918

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on March 15, 2012 at 3:46pm

If you're going to screen one candidate's entire online life you better screen them all. Honestly I don't have that kind of time. I do a quick LinkedIn browse but no more than that.

Comment by james nathan on March 15, 2012 at 3:47pm
Of course Courtney and healthy discussion is what this site is all about. As it happens, I adamantly believe that the practice of asking for a persons passwords is wrong in every way, and if an employer asked me I would walk away from their business.

I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my thoughts.
Comment by Marc Rodriguez on March 16, 2012 at 11:45am

Iagree with Courtney Hunt. If you are declining candidates based on information gained from a social site, you are seetting yourself up for litigation.

Comment by Stephen Paredes on March 21, 2012 at 12:08pm

Aside from the legal aspects, social media outlets were not designed to grade talent so recruiters should not utilize it as such a tool. If organizations want to grade talent then they should implement assessments such as Kenexa ProveIt into their interviewing process. There is a science behind the assessments that can tell you more about your candidates then their Facebook page. Personally, I feel that no social media site should stop you from interviewing qualified individuals!

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