With the job market in the United Kingdom taking continual blows from the world economy, it is getting harder and harder for people to get the jobs that they need.
At the same time however, social media, the very platform that people use to enjoy, interact and communicate with the known world, could very well be working against them.
In a survey conducted by HR software specialists Computers in Personnel and Lab 42, they found the out of 300 employers, 91% of them at some stage had used some form of social media to screen prospective employees.
For those who offer little security on their profile pages, they may be interested to know just what platforms that employers had used in the past:
- 76% Facebook
- 53% Twitter
- 48% LinkedIn
It is interesting to note therefore, that LinkedIn, the professional networking site, is actually the one in which is used the least by employers. What was also noted by the researchers was the actual time in which the employers would view the social sites:
- 47% would screen minutes after receiving an application
- 27% would do so after an initial conversation
- 15% after a detailed conversation
Most crucially however, at least 4% of employers stated that they would screen a prospective candidate only moments from offering them the job; a silent decision that is a make or break moment for any candidate.
What is more important however is just how much influence social media had on the decisions that the employers made after viewing their candidates pages.
Out of the employers, no less than 61% said that they had actually rejected candidates after viewing their profile pages. Out of the reasons given:
- 13% found that the candidate had lied on their application
- 11% said that they had found inappropriate photographs, comments and poor communication.
- 10% witnessed discriminating comments or references to drug use.
- 7% found confidential information about previous employment.
The news however, isn’t all bad as the survey also found that 68% of employers had actually hired applicants after viewing the social accounts of prospective candidates. Out of those:
- 39% hired because they found the applicant to have a positive personality
- 36% found that the applicant had supporting qualifications and evidence of creativity
- 34% showed credible references
- 33% showed a well-rounded personality
What is perhaps most crucial however, and is that 24% of employers found that their applicants had hidden awards or skills via searching through their social pages; perhaps a clinching deal in some cases.
If you currently find yourself in the job market and don’t want your profile pages being viewed by your prospective boss, then there are certain security measures that can be taken on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Bear in mind however that by doing this, you could very well be hiding crucial aspects of yourself which could get you in the running for the job; as well as those that very well may not.