Fifty-two percent of IT employers use social networks to research potential job candidates, according to new Sologig.com Survey
IT hiring managers share why they screen with social media, and explain what they're looking for in candidates' profiles
CHICAGO, April 25, 2012 With the pervasive, worldwide adoption of social media, job seekers know that the all-important first impression is potentially made well before the first interview. But just how many IT hiring mangers browse social media profiles, and what type of information are they hunting?
More than half of IT employers (52 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates, according to a new survey from Sologig.com. This number is the highest of all industries surveyed. Of the IT employers who do not research candidates on social media, 15 percent said their company actually prohibits the practice.
Fifteen percent report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.
The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 9 to March 2, 20l2, included more than 150 IT hiring managers and human resource professionals in companies of various sizes.
What are IT hiring managers looking for on social media?
IT hiring managers are using social media to evaluate candidates' character and personality outside the confines of the traditional interview process. When asked why they use social networks to conduct background research, hiring mangers stated the following:
- To see if the candidate presents himself/herself professionally 66 percent
- See if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture 64 percent
- Learn more about the candidate's qualifications 63 percent
- To see if the candidate is well-rounded 45 percent
- Looking for reasons not to hire the candidate 13 percent
"Social media plays a significant role in how individuals communicate today, and public, online profiles will often tell us a lot about an individual's personality and general character," said Jamie Carney, director of Sologig.com. "Still, many of these channels are more of a personal sphere of communication, and hiring managers need to carefully examine whether the information found via social profiles is truly relevant to a candidate's ability to do the job."
Is social media helping or hurting job candidates?
Approximately one-third (34 percent) of IT hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate. That content ranges from evidence of inappropriate behavior and information that contradicted their listed qualifications to simply badmouthing previous employers.
While screening for red flags is one reason for social media research, IT employers are also looking for information that could potentially give a job seeker an advantage. Approximately one in five hiring managers (22 percent) said they have found something that has caused them to hire a candidate, including posts that gave them a good feel the candidate's personality, communication style, and professional qualifications.
Carney says these findings reflect the importance of managing your online reputation.
"Job seekers need to remember that social media is a very public sphere," he said. "If you chose to make your social media content public, never post anything you would not want a potential employer to see. Whether its pictures, links or other content you are posting, always ensure these portray you in a positive light."
IT employers are primarily using Facebook (54 percent) and LinkedIn (82 percent) to research candidates; 17 percent use Twitter.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 157 I.T. hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) ages 18 and over between February 9 and March 2, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 157, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-7.82 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
Copyright 2012 Sologig