Print 36 comment(s) - last by typo101.. on Sep 19 at 3:35 PM

Be careful what you post on the Internet, because a possible job employer is snooping around

At least one in five hiring managers hit the internet and looks at social networking websites to help research possible job candidates.   

Online job site completed a survey of 3,169 hiring managers, with 22 percent of them saying they check on Facebook and MySpace when looking into job candidates.  Just two years ago, however, only 11 percent of employees looked at social networking sites before making a decision.

More than one-third (34 percent) of hiring managers dismissed possible candidates because of what they found on their profiles.  About nine percent who do not look on the web sites plan to beginning do so in the future.

  • 41 percent of candidates spoke of drinking and/or drug use
  • 40 percent posted provocative images or information
  • 29 percent had poor communication skills
  • 28 percent spoke badly about previous employers
  • 27 percent lied about their job qualifications
  • 22 percent posted offensive statements about race, gender, religion, etc.
  • 22 percent used an unprofessional screen name
  • 21 percent were linked to criminal behavior
  • 19 percent shared confidential information from previous employers

Job employers are becoming increasingly concerned about photos, video and written information of young people and their encounters with alcohol and recreational drugs.

But while what they find on the internet can disqualify candidates, looking on Facebook or MySpace also can help determine if a candidate is qualified for the job.

  • 48 percent of candidates had a background to help them acquire the job
  • 43 percent had good communication skills
  • 40 percent were a good fit for the company
  • 36 percent had a site portraying professionalism
  •  31 percent had references posted by others
  • 30 percent showed wide range of interests
  • 29 percent received either academic or professional awards
  • 24 percent of had creative or clever profiles

A general rule of thumb -- which obviously has been easily forgotten -- is that if you have anything you don't want publicly viewed, it should be published in "Friend's Only" mode on social networking sites.

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RE: What does this tell us...
By ZmaxDP on 9/16/2008 9:44:46 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I'm with FITCamaro on this one. Different jobs have different responsibilities, and depending on what your job is any one of these things is a legitimate disqualifier.

Say you're applying for a position with MADD (mothers against drunk driving). Sorry, I don't think recreational drinking is something they want their representatives to do.

If, on the other hand, you're applying for a roughnecking job with hunt oil I doubt they give a crap if you drink recreationally. Heck, they'd probably be worried about you if you didn't.

Like it or not, employees are representatives of the companies they work for. How much of a representative is dependent on the type of job and the rank of the position. However, even someone like me just three years in at my current employer interacts with clients and gives presentations at industry events. If I were to show up a little toasted it would make my employer look bad.

The hardest thing for an HR department to do is to determine if a potential employee fits into the culture and ethics of the company to which they are applying. Looking at social (hint hint, it's public you idiot) networking (second hint, networking is about interacting with others!) sites is currently one of the best ways to make that determination.

Now, that being said, I think it is unethical to look without permission or knowledge of the employee. Our HR department currently does not look at social networking sites. When I have someone contact me looking for a job at my company, I do look at those things. So, before I look I always ask if I can look at their myspace or facebook pages. I also ask for any screen names they may go by in any industry related blogs or forums. I've had people claim they don't have any such memberships (some truthfully, some not), I've had people request I not look in those places, but most people are more than happy to provide the information because (shockingly! gasp) they have nothing to hide. That seems to work pretty well for me...

RE: What does this tell us...
By ZmaxDP on 9/16/2008 7:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ooh, re-read this and wanted to qualify that "you idiot" refers to anyone posting their recreational drug use on facebook and not to any of the previous posters... my bad for any confusion...

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