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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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And people are complaining because???
By 325hhee on 9/16/2008 10:45:21 AM , Rating: 3
Why are there so many negative posts on people feeling employers have no rights to look at prospective candidates via Myspace, facebook, etc.

I know some people in HR that uses it, and it's a valuable tool. When you see someone posting, yeah we should kill so and so because of, what ever reason. Just going by that can tell you, that person isn't all there in the head. Or people bragging about, their excessive drug usage, or how to grow home made narcotics. That's a candidate that can prove to be destructive to the company.

Or better yet, people with gang pride, those are not people that would make other colleagues feel comfortable in a work place.

Any user that wants to throw things like that in the open, are in open territory, so if it backlashes against them, it's their own fault. Prospective employers really do not want to invest the time to rehire and train people over and over again, it costs time and money to do so. For my company, it costs about $2000 to train someone for two weeks. It may not sound like a lot, but the two weeks alone is time that can never be recovered. And that's two weeks of work lost for a business.

And now with this 500 point loss in the market, lots of jobs are being lost, people are going to be a lot more particular on who they hire. Employers wants the best they can get, and possibly at the least they can pay them, they don't want to hire screw ups, slackers and loafers. Employers can't afford to hire, train, over and over again.

RE: And people are complaining because???
By Landiepete on 9/16/2008 11:33:49 AM , Rating: 2
Let's say, for the sake of argument, you're at a wedding. It's a great party and you're having fun. You've had a few to many. At this point, on the of the guests of an overseas persuasion starts singing 'Nottingham Forest Almighty'. Since you are an avid Hibs fan, you give him the inverted victory sign shouting something along the lines of 'I say old bean, how jolly unsportsmanlike'.

At this point someone you don't know snaps a shot and plasters it on a social website with the caption '325hee shows what he thinks of Notty supporters'.

You do not know about this.

Twoo weeks later a potential employer scours the websites for info on your person. He deems you to be a drunk, a racist, a hoolingan and sporting an unprofessional name.

Looks like you're sh*gg*d, mate.

Peter R.

RE: And people are complaining because???
By 325hhee on 9/16/2008 12:03:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the person taking the snap shot would post it on his or her own site, unless for some reason, that person has my access info.

It's not like we're going to research other people, to find info on our prospective candidates. That's going too far. But if someone researches said person, and that person him/herself is displaying, publicly, they're an idiot, is one thing. The said person friend posting it, is a completely different story.

By ZmaxDP on 9/16/2008 7:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention, most (not all) HR employees are humans too, and screw up every once in a while. What they're looking for isn't one photo of their candidate being a dumbass, but a history or tendency of them doing something that either compromises their ability to perform their job, or could compromise the reputation of the company. Usually they're not dumb enough to let talented people pass by because they got drunk at a wedding reception and made a sign with their fingers that is captioned on someone else's page with something possibly derogatory. Perhaps your HR department is that inept, but thankfully ours isn't.

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