A new CareeerBuilder study finds social media does more harm than good.
While your social media profile can be a great asset in your job search, a new CareerBuilder study shows it can also end up costing you the job. More than two in five (43 percent) hiring managers who currently 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.
The nationwide survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 11 to March 6, 20l3, and included 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.
Is social media helping or hurting job candidates? 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
- Other people posted great references about the candidate – 38 percent
What are hiring managers looking for on social media?
The research suggests that hiring managers are using social media to get a glimpse at the candidate’s behavior and personality outside of the interview, and are most interested in professional presentation and how the candidate would fit with the company culture.