More than 50pc of employers screen job seekers online


18 Jan 2010

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Whether you’re a college student on the cusp of graduation or you’re a current job seeker, it pays to monitor what you post on your social-networking site of choice as a recent survey shows that 53pc of employers do online background checks and sites like Facebook and MySpace are on the list.

With more than half of employees researching job candidates online, UK website CareerBuilder.co.uk found that 43pc are using search engines to see what they can find outside of the CV, 12pc said they go to Facebook and a further 12pc head to professional networking site LinkedIn.

The most revealing part of the survey was the fact that 40pc of these employers admitted that online information they had unearthed about potential employees had discouraged them from hiring.

The drilldown

What these employers found online has a profound effect on the hiring process: 38pc found that a candidate lied about qualifications, 13pc saw that candidates have made discriminatory comments, while 10pc dug up content on potential employees talking about drinking or using drugs.

Interestingly, some job seekers had openly left content online in which they had bad-mouthed a previous employer, co-worker or client, while some had gone as far as to share confidential information from a previous employer.

It’s not all bad, however, as 61pc of employers had found examples of online profiles that supported a candidate’s professional qualifications, with 41pc seeing those that showed good communication skills and 15pc found good references about the candidate that had been posted by others.

“Social networking is a great way to make connections with potential job opportunities in 2010 and promote your personal brand across the internet,” said Farhan Yasin, president of CareerBuilder EMEA.

“Make sure you are using this resource to your advantage by conveying a professional image and underscoring your qualifications.”

By Marie Boran

Photo: Some 12pc of employers said they go to Facebook and another 12pc to LinkedIn to find more information about job candidates, CareerBuilder.co.uk has found