Employers use social networks to screen candidates Employers use social networks to screen candidates
“If you won’t put something on a billboard along a busy road for everyone to see, you should definitely not put it on social... Employers use social networks to screen candidates

“If you won’t put something on a billboard along a busy road for everyone to see, you should definitely not put it on social media”. This is advice from local social media law specialist Emma Sadleir regarding social media posting.

A statement proven true when one considers that content on your social media account may be the determining factor when it comes to landing your dream job or not. CareerBuilder reports that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates, a mammoth increase from the 11 percent reported in 2006.

The latest online survey by CareerBuilder, of 2,300 hiring managers and human resource professionals determined that 54% of the employers found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate. The two biggest causes being when the candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information (39%) or when the candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs (38%).

However, 44% also found content on a social networking site that caused them to hire the candidate. Primary reasons being candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications (38%), good communication skills (37%) and a professional image (36%).

Of interest, CareerBuilder goes on to report that the found that 57% of employers are less likely to call someone in for an interview if they can’t find a job candidate online. This presents a strong case for prospective employees to clean-up their social media accounts rather than delete them.

There are tools such as Scrubber that specialise in social media clean-ups. Scrubber states that it will generate a report which will identify questionable words, profanity, mentions of drugs or alcohol as well as check-ins at undesirable locations such as strip clubs. In addition there is state of the art machine that is in the process of learning to identify NSFW images.

Prospective employees are not alone in this scrutiny, current employees’ social media profiles are of interest too with half of the surveyed employers admitting to checking on current employees profiles. Furthermore, over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee for inappropriate content.

Emma Sadleir when interviewed by Destinyconnect.com on the relationship between your social media and employer, stated “Even if it’s not explicitly detailed in your company’s policy that your social media account shouldn’t contain anything that could bring the company into disrepute, your employer can still take disciplinary action against you for what you post on social media” She further added “The common law, even if there is no policy, is that anything that brings the company into disrepute can lead to disciplinary consequences up to termination.”

The full CareerBuilder press release may be viewed here.

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