Does a candidate’s social media profile help or harm the candidate’s chances of landing a job? According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, it is, perhaps not surprisingly, more likely that a candidate’s social media activity will have a negative, rather than a positive impact, although that’s not always the case.
According to the survey, 39% of companies use social media sites to research job applicants. Of those, 43% said they have found information that caused them not to hire someone, while only 19% said they had found something that positively impacted hiring decision.
What makes the difference? The top reasons for not hiring a candidate based on their social media profile include some of the “usual suspects.” Fifty percent of those who decided not to hire someone based on the individual’s social media profile did so because the candidate “posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info.” 48% discovered information showing the candidate drinking alcohol or using drugs, and 28% reported finding the candidate had made discriminatory comments relating to race, gender, religion, and other protected classes. Additionally, 33% found that the candidate had bad-mouthed a previous employer.
And what might make a positive impact? The survey found that hiring managers who found something positive on a candidate’s social media profile that caused them to hire the candidate included things like the candidate demonstrating a “professional image,” “great communication skills,” “creativ[ity]” and similar items.
The survey includes some interesting data on the impact a job applicant’s social media profile can have on hiring decisions. What would also be interesting to know is how many employers who are using social media to vet job applicants are taking precautionary measures to make sure that protected information (like race, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, religion, etc.) is not clouding their judgment.