Your Facebook post could cost you a jobNews added by Benefits Pro on July 7, 2014

Benefits Pro

Joined: September 07, 2011

My Company

By Greg Glasgow

Here’s yet another reminder to be careful what you post on Facebook and other social media sites.

A new survey from CareerBuilder finds that 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media say they’ve found content that caused them to not hire the candidate. That’s up from 43 percent last year and 34 percent in 2012.

When researching candidates online, employers reported finding everything from provocative photos and evidence of drug use to employees disparaging their current workplace or making discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion.

“It’s important for job seekers to remember that much of what they post to the Internet — and in some cases what others post about them — can be found by potential employers, and that can affect their chances of getting hired down the road,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.

The national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Feb. 10 to March 4, also shows that employers don’t limit themselves to social networks when it comes to researching candidates online. Almost half of employers — 45 percent — use search engines such as Google to research potential job candidates, while 12 percent of employers say they have reviewed a potential job candidate’s posts or comments on, or other ratings sites.

The bad news has a flip side, however: One-third of employers who research candidates on social networking sites say they have found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate. What’s more, nearly a quarter (23 percent) found content that led directly to them hiring the candidate, up from 19 percent last year.

Some of the most common reasons employers hired a candidate after researching him or her online include:
  • Got a good feel for the job candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the company culture
  • Job candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications for the job
  • Job candidate’s site conveyed a professional image
  • Job candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests
  • Job candidate had great communication skills
  • Job candidate was creative
  • Job candidate received awards and accolades
  • Other people posted great references about the job candidate
  • Job candidate had interacted with my company’s social media accounts
  • Job candidate had a large amount of followers or subscribers
Whether they feel their online presence is positive or negative, Haefner said, “job seekers need to stay vigilant, and pay attention to privacy updates from all of their social networking accounts so they know what information is out there for others to see. Take control of your web presence by limiting who can post to your profile and monitoring posts you’ve been tagged in.”

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