Social Media in the Hiring Process

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A current and somewhat controversial topic regarding the hiring process is employers’ use of social media screening. The most popular sites to be checked are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and now more than ever, companies are looking on the Internet to see if applicants are active on these social media websites (Swallow). Harris Interactive conducted a survey of 2,303 respondents from February 9, 2012 through March 2, 2012 to find out how many companies used social media sites to check on job applicants. The results showed that 37 percent of respondents indicated their companies used social media web sites to check on job candidates. Sixty-five percent indicated they were looking to see if a job candidate appeared professional and 51 percent indicated that they were checking to see if the candidate would be a good match in the company’s culture (“Social Media A Big Part of Hiring Process”). Another survey done by a social media monitoring service, Reppler, reveals even higher results. Their study found that over 90 percent of recruiters and hiring managers have visited a potential candidate’s profile on a social network as part of the screening process. The study also shows that 69 percent of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on content found on his or her social networking profiles although 68 percent say that they have actually hired a candidate based on his or her activity on those sites. The most common reasons for rejection include lies about qualifications, inappropriate photos (racy or indicative of drug or alcohol use), negative comments about a previous employer, and poor communication skills. The most common reasons that an employer has hired someone after viewing his or her social media profile include demonstration of a positive personality and good organizational fit, evident creativity, and good references posted by others (Swallow).

Although screening social media profiles can provide employers with a wealth of useful...
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