Many Employers Pass on Applicants Due to Social Media Posts

Many Employers Pass on Applicants Due to Social Media Posts

My two cents…This is the “age of accountability.”  Any information on the Internet is free game to employers AND to job seekers.  Both parties should utilize all resources available when considering fit and making long term employment decisions.

Advice to job seekers:

  • Don’t post information or stories on the Internet that may be perceived negatively by employers considering you for employment.
  • “Google” yourself and look everywhere else you might appear on the Internet so that you are aware of what others will see.  Clean up what you can.
  • Conduct “damage control” if there is something on the Internet that may get you kicked out of the running by telling Interviewers about it when they ask, “Is there anything else we should know about you?”

Great article and stats from Recruiting Trends…

Many Employers Pass on Applicants Due to Social Media Posts – Recruiting Trends.

Chicago, IL, June 26, 2014 — More employers are turning to social networking sites to find additional information on potential candidates – and they’re not entirely impressed with what they’re seeing. A new survey found that 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media said they’ve found content that caused them to not hire the candidate, up from 43 percent last year and 34 percent in 2012.

Forty-three percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 39 percent last year and 36 percent in 2012. Additionally, 12 percent of employers don’t currently research candidates on social media, but plan to start, according to the national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 10 to March 4, 2014, and included a representative sample of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals, and a representative sample 3,022 full-time, private sector workers across industries and company sizes.

Employers aren’t limiting themselves to social networks when it comes to researching candidates’ web presences. Forty-five percent of employers use search engines such as Google to research potential job candidates, with 20 percent saying they do so frequently or always. Additionally, 12 percent of employers say they’ve reviewed a potential job candidate’s posts or comments on, or other ratings sites.

Helping or Hurting?

So what are employers finding on social media that’s prompting them to eliminate candidates from consideration? The most common reasons to pass on a candidate included:

• Job candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 46 percent
• Job candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs – 41 percent
• Job candidates bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee – 36 percent
• Job candidate had poor communication skills – 32 percent
• Job candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion etc. – 28 percent
• Job candidate lied about qualifications – 25 percent
• Job candidate shared confidential information from previous employers – 24 percent
• Job candidate was linked to criminal behavior – 22 percent
• Job candidate’s screen name was unprofessional – 21 percent
• Job candidate lied about an absence – 13 percent

However, one third (33 percent) of employers who research candidates on social networking sites say they’ve found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate. What’s more, nearly a quarter (23 percent) found content that directly led to them hiring the candidate, up from 19 percent last year.

Some of the most common reasons employers hired a candidate based on their social networking presence included:

• Got a good feel for the job candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the company culture – 46 percent
• Job candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications for the job – 45 percent
• Job candidate’s site conveyed a professional image – 43 percent
• Job candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests – 40 percent
• Job candidate had great communication skills – 40 percent
• Job candidate was creative – 36 percent
• Job candidate received awards and accolades – 31 percent
• Other people posted great references about the job candidate – 30 percent
• Job candidate had interacted with my company’s social media accounts – 24 percent
• Job candidate had a large amount of followers or subscribers – 14 percent


Many workers and job seekers are taking measures to protect their privacy and avoid over-sharing with potential employers. Nearly half (47 percent) of workers only share posts with friends and family, 41 percent have their profile set to private, and 18 percent keep separate professional and personal profiles. Twenty-eight percent of workers say they don’t use social media.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,022 workers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government)between February 10 and March 4, 2014 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,138 and 3,022, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/-2.12 and +/-1.78 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.


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