Do employers look at social media when making hiring decisions?

social media; job search; privacy;

According to Career Builder, 60% of employers use social networking sites to research candidates and that number is growing.

Within IT, that number grows to 76%. Some hiring managers even say that they are more likely to hire someone if they can find them online.

In other words, employers are looking at a candidate’s online persona. By law, they cannot use the information they see or find to discriminate – for example, to discriminate on your gender, age, race or religion. They can however notice if you have photos that are not appropriate to a serious business role.

For example, extremely provocative images may be of concern. Candidates who speak unwell of their current employer don’t look as appealing, and those who make inappropriate or discriminatory comments will turn off an employer.

We have relied on social media to compare the dates on a candidate’s resume to the dates on their LinkedIn profile. Sometimes we discover discrepancies from one resume to another that we find online.

We would suggest candidates take the time to google themselves – and take the time to update all of the career sites they use presently or have used in the past. They should also update photos and dates on business sites such as LinkedIn, and make their personal social media PRIVATE. An employer would then have to request access to see the person’s private images.