Studies Say: Social Media Recruiting is Here to Stay

Recruiting via social media is booming in 2016. In fact, 84% of organizations do it, and 9% more are planning to. This is up sharply from 2011, when only 56% used social media for recruitment.
More than 33% of companies have disqualified a job candidate in the past year because of concerns about information found on public social media or an online search, according to a Society for Human
Resource Management (SHRM) survey.

The reason? Those in the hiring business believe that a job candidate’s public social media profile can shed light on work performance. Today, 43% or organizations said social media or online search engines are a part of their screening process, an increase over 2013. LinkedIn is the most popular site to search, at 96%, followed by Facebook at 66%, and Twitter at 53%.

More than 35% of companies have disqualified someone in the last year due to information from a public social media profile or an online search.

Here’s what leaves employers with a bad impression:

- Provocative or inappropriate photographs or videos.
- Excessive drinking.
- Drug use.
- Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.
- Bad-mouthing a previous company or fellow employee.
- Bad language.
- Poor communication skills.

Furthermore, the fact that a job candidate is not self-aware enough to know that any of the above types of posts or photos are a bad idea conveys a message as well – and not a good one.

###But the News Isn’t All Bad

Hiring managers aren’t just trolling cyberspace hoping to dig up dirt about you. Recruiting passive job candidates was cited as the most common reason for using social media. According to a CareerBuilder report, 33% of those who screened prospective employees on social media reported finding positive information that led them to hire a certain candidate. This included:

- Personality fit well with company culture.
- The candidate was well-rounded and showed a wide range of interests.
- Background information matched the job qualifications.
- Sites conveyed a professional image.
- Great communication skills.

###Turn the Tables
So what can you do? Since employers are looking at your social media accounts, you have some options:

- **Privatize, Protect, and Edit.** Check your privacy settings, and eliminate any content, photos or comments that could be misconstrued. One recruiter said, “If you wouldn’t say it to someone in person, then don’t tweet or post it.”
- **Use them to your advantage.** Do you volunteer? Are you funny? Do you have interesting hobbies? Are you a good communicator? If done well, tools like Facebook and Twitter can let you showcase best traits in a positive way, allowing recruiters to see who you are beyond the resume or interview.
- **Caveat.** if you are passionate about a cause, don’t overdo it. One customer service manager noted, “Posting lots of photos of bloody animals to illustrate the evils of dogfighting on your Facebook page is not a cool thing.” (Hint, hint: Your friends and followers will probably thank you as well).

###Google Yourself
It’s that thing that most of us dread doing, but you may want to conduct a Google search of yourself to look for any old social media accounts or Google images you have forgotten about.