One-quarter of employers check social networking sites when hiring: Survey

Inappropriate photos and information about employers top reasons hiring managers reject candidates

Social networking sites offer employers a glimpse into what a job candidate is really like and hiring managers are taking advantage of this technology to screen potential employees, according to a survey.

The survey of more than 400 hiring managers by CareerBuilder Canada found 28 per cent of them use these sites to research prospective hires and three per cent plan to start in the future.

Of those who conduct online searches or background checks of job candidates, 52 per cent use Facebook, 39 per cent use LinkedIn and 23 per cent use MySpace. One-quarter search blogs, while 11 per cent follow candidates on Twitter.

Why employers discount candidates

One-quarter (26 per cent) of employers who use social networking sites to research job candidates 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 - 55 per cent

• Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer - 50 per cent

• Candidate made discriminatory comments - 38 per cent

• Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs - 36 per cent

• Candidate lied about qualifications - 26 per cent

• Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients - 24 per cent

• Candidate showed poor communication skills - 24 per cent

But 14 per cent of hiring managers who research candidates online find information that makes them want to hire the candidate. The top examples include:

• Profile supported candidate's professional qualifications - 78 per cent

• Candidate received awards and accolades - 70 per cent

• Candidate showed solid communication skills - 52 per cent

• Profile provided a good feel for the candidate's personality and fit within the organization - 52 per cent

• Profile conveyed a professional image - 48 per cent

• Candidate was creative - 48 per cent

• Other people posted good references about the candidate - 41 per cent

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