The use of social media by employers

Social media has become more prevalent in everyday life and that’s why so many employers are turning to social media as a reference point for future employees. Not only does it give a background to the candidate, it also shows what sort of character they are – shady or not!   But what happens in a person’s private lie may not reflect their professional life so it can be misleading which is which employers need to be careful and not jump to conclusions or pre-judge a potential candidate.

According to a survey conducted by Career Builder, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, while 3 in 10 employers have appointed a dedicated resource to reviewing online profiles of job applicants.  In addition to social media, 60% of employers use online search engines to research candidates as well. (Source:

The survey also revealed employers are searching for the following when doing their social media research:

Information to support the candidate’s qualifications (61%)
Whether the candidate has a professional online persona (50%)
What are other people posting about the candidate? (37%)
Is there any reason not to hire the candidate? (24%)
What are some of the things you can do to protect yourself as a candidate?   

Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want someone else to know
Control what photos you’re tagged in and don’t automatically have them loaded up onto your page feed
Select the correct level of privacy settings to ensure only those closest to you know your most inner secrets and what you get up to at the weekend
Don’t post any discriminatory content or opinions.
While it might not be ethical in the eyes of some, there’s nothing to stop someone from snooping.  And let’s admit, we’re probably all bit nosey at times!  So, if there’s something you don’t want your employer or future employer to see or know, don’t share it!  Once it’s in the public domain, it’ll stay there for a very long time!