With social media becoming such a big part of our everyday lives, it’s no surprise that employers are increasingly using social networks to research potential hires and gather more information than they would otherwise obtain during the interview process.
In fact, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees, according to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey.
As with most things, the more information you have, the better decisions you can make. Here’s a look at how companies are analyzing social media to make hiring decisions, and the impact that can have on potential candidates.
Having an online profile is important.
Some 47 percent of prospective employers said that if they couldn’t find a job candidate online, they were less likely to call that person in for an interview. For the 30 percent of American adults who don’t have an online presence, this could be an issue when they’re job hunting.
“Employers do look at social media profiles to make hiring decisions, and can, so long as it does not violate federal or state anti-discrimination laws such as race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, etc.,” Sergei Lemberg, managing partner at Lemberg Law, told me in a phone interview.
At a time when almost 70 percent of American adults have an online presence, it has become more of an expectation to be able to find everyone online. And employers are no different; in the CareerBuilder survey, employers said they expected candidates to have an online presence and that they typically gathered more information prior to calling a candidate for an interview.
Confirm the candidate’s qualifications online.
Companies are no longer just pre-screening applicants through phone interviews and personality assessment tests; now they have social media profiles at their fingertips to take a deeper dive into the personal lives and previous job experiences of candidates. Information that once used to be private is now readily available to anyone willing to take a little time to dig around the web.
That way, ideally, a candidate’s background listed online should match the qualifications he or she has stated on a resume or shared during the interview. That’s what employers look for, and any discrepancy in this information can lead to potential employers questioning the accuracy of a candidate’s resume.