Recruiters use social media to spy on potential employees

Most people believe their private social media profiles as protected from the scrutiny of their employers. However, a survey has highlighted the increasing trend of recruitment agencies analysing applicant profiles, looking for flaws and potential red flags.

The survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder polled more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals to investigate how widespread the snooping was becoming. The results would be surprising to any job seekers currently posting questionable content on their social media profiles.

Close to half (43 per cent) of employers search for applicant profiles online which is up from 39 per cent last year. From those who search, more than half (51 per cent) found content that influenced their decision not to hire the candidate.

This has increased significantly in recent years up from 43 per cent last year and only 24 per cent in 2012. It seems some employers will go further than social media as well – one in five recruiters frequently Google search candidate names.

Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, said this suggests potential employees need to be aware that employers will search for them and to be careful about what they post.

"It's important for job seekers to remember that much of what they post to the Internet – and in some cases what others post about them – can be found by potential employers, and that can affect their chances of getting hired down the road," she said.

"Take control of your web presence by limiting who can post to your profile and monitoring posts you've been tagged in."

Some of the most common social media content concerns found by employers include inappropriate photographs or information, drinking or drug use and poor communication skills.

If searching via social media isn't ethical for your business, you could invest in recruitment software which can streamline candidate's CVs and analyse their skills and experience for the role.

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