1 In 3 Employers Reject Applicants Based On Facebook Posts

If you've ignored career experts' advice to be careful about what you post on social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, this new survey may frighten you.

In a survey of some 2,300 hiring managers, nearly 40 percent said they screen potential hires using social media, and many say they reject job applicants as a result of what they find, according to a new survey released Wednesday by CareerBuilder.

Nearly a third of hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found problems that resulted in them rejecting the candidate. Here is what turned them off:

  • Candidate's provocative/inappropriate photos/comments -- 49 percent
  • Candidate drinking or using drugs -- 45 percent
  • Candidate had "poor communication skills" -- 35 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed a previous employer -- 33 percent
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion -- 28 percent
  • Candidate lied about qualifications -- 22 percent
When Social Media Helps

The CareerBuilder survey found that employers look for things like evidence of cultural fit and qualifications, which give some savvy job-seekers an advantage. Nearly 30 percent of hiring managers said they found something that caused them to hire candidates. Here is what convinced the hiring managers:

  • Good feel for candidate's personality -- 58 percent
  • Conveyed a professional image -- 55 percent
  • Background info supported professional qualifications -- 54 percent
  • Well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests -- 51 percent
  • Great communication skills -- 49 percent
  • Creativity -- 44 percent
  • Other people posted great references about the candidate -- 34 percent

CareerBuilder's survey, which found that most employers search LinkedIn or Facebook, mirror those of a similar study last year by the Society of Human Resource Management.

That survey showed that more than half (56 percent) of employers polled said they used social media sites when recruiting potential job candidates, a "significant increase from the 34 percent recorded in 2008.

SHRM also found LinkedIn was most utilized social network -- with 95 percent of employers that conduct social media background checks using the site, while 58 percent used Facebook and 42 percent used Twitter.


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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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EDGAR

What about someone that has gone through online slander by someone with money to pay ex google employees like www.reputationdefender.com to be reputation destroyer.com. I know a person, who lost her whole career, tabloid smut and sensationalized foul qoutes were put up, while her website, her twenty year career, images on wire image were cropped or erased, her wiki was erased and slander was put up upon her ex husbands wikipedia that comes up when her name is googled. It has been hard for her to get baby sitting jobs, make friends, and date. How is she to find an internet forensic attorney when it has destroyed all means of her income? Literally!!!

May 17 2013 at 4:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkelmstra

Due to all the laws today which employees can sue employers with I can understand why employers want to know WHO they are really hiring. Its hard to terminate employees today even if they are the worst employee ever. They end up suing for everything citing laws from being gay to disabled to jewish to black to older to transgender etc.
I know a business owner who proudly displays photos of Bush and Reagan and other GOP leaders in his office and he hires based on the response of applicants. Some will actually walk in and start bashing Bush without thinking! They dont get hired!! He is proud of the fact he has a 100% GOP business and he has no problems with employees.

May 16 2013 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dkelmstra's comment
ladkraemer

This should be 100% illegal. Thank god some countries care about their citizens privacy and are passing laws to restrain such endeavors by employers. All that should matter if an employee can do the job, does it well and comes to work on time. The rest of the employees time is his own and if he hasn't committed a crime the employer has no right to fire that person. The employer has no right to look at personal information that is on face book or any other sites the person might be on. If caught the company, no matter how big they are, it would hurt them financially so they would fire the person bringing the snooping up. If government shouldn't do it, unless it's for top secret clearances, then business should definitely not be allowed to do it unless it's for a top secret clearance for government. BRING BACK CIVIL PRIVACY, TAKE IT AWAY FROM BUSINESS. Put privacy ahead of business, people are more important than money.

May 16 2013 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Butzbach

... so delete your profile before you get a job, they're free and you can always make another ...

May 24 2012 at 5:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nbart

Facebook isn't for grown ups, sorry. I'd be wary of hiring anybody who had that much free time.

April 23 2012 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nbart's comment
ladkraemer

Problem is that companies are telling their people to open site like these for advertisement.

May 16 2013 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tedtruth

Dear America, you need to face reality. our government is now run by the scum of the earth politicians both republican and democrats who receive millions in bribes, kickbacks and campaign donations to help eliminate US jobs. They have ALL been bought off by special interest Global Corporations who want ALL US production eliminated in the US and offshored overseas. The only jobs that are allowed to stay will be retail and restaurant franchises which they can control and reap most the profits from. Other than working for the Government which are cutting jobs, everything else is being eliminated.

The more jobs the politicians eliminate, the more money they make. Why would they want to stop eliminating jobs if it's making them and the filthy rich richer? They don't mind if most of the country has to go on welfare, food stamps and section 8 housing, it's not coming out of their pay.

This is why the ONLY solution is REVOLUTION

April 23 2012 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tedtruth's comment
ladkraemer

The US is becoming George Orwell's "1984". Big Brother's true name is BIG BUSINESS. NAFTA is the industrial zone he wrote about.

May 16 2013 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

This is what they call, shooting themselves in the foot. Its not legal, but they do it. Also, companies are not suppose to reject you on age, but I promise you, if its a big company, they don't want anyone over 40 , coming on board, unless its a really big job. If you have been unemployed, you probably will never be hired back into a similar position. You will end up, doing a job, that is not related to your education. Sometimes forced into contract jobs, when you once managed in manufacturing. Its sad, but, a head hunter will pitch your resume , if you are over 50. And its nothing new, its always been that way.

April 23 2012 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill's comment
tedtruth

These days almost all the Goddamn a-hole American employers are looking for the same thing. A Super-human who will work and act like a Goddamn slave , can perform 10 jobs and one time and is more than happy to work for free or near free with no benefits, no chance of promotion or anything else American's are accustomed to receiving for their loyalty and hard work

April 23 2012 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
luanne garner

As I have said before, this what being tolerant of things causes. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there
that would this is ok to invade someone's privacy. You all know we have a Constitution and that protects
our freedom of speech. These companies that are holding social media over our heads are nothing
short of being communistic. This, to me, is morally wrong. Especially in this day, time and economy.

April 23 2012 at 11:55 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
C Valentine Mitchell

45 percent rejected applicants due too drinking or drugs...What a crazy world we live in, never would of guessed it." Guess it's safe to say, these workers really seem like damaged goods." But what would you really expect when so many of them have been thrown under the bus so many times." Some places are just to cheap to even do drug testing and they end up hiring nothing but dopes.

April 23 2012 at 11:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
creginalan

The best facebook page for a job applicant is NO facebook page! I used to work for a company that did alot of hiring and I know the big boss had a guy on staff that checked facebook pages for him on all applicants (this guy was computer savy enough that he didn't need pass words to get into all the "privacy" settings! One particular time comes to mind when a key position where being descreet was a part of the job description for a $65,000/yr job. When it was narrowed down on qualifications to 3 top candidates, the boss then looked at the pages of the candidates (with help of "savy") and eliminated his top pick because of photos and comments on facebook page. Then looking at the other two, he discovered that one didn't have a page that could be found so he picked up the phone and called him. The candidate explained he didn't have a page because he valued his privacy and that of his family. The boss offered him the job on the phone right then and there! He knew this guy would value his company's information with discretion too!

April 23 2012 at 11:05 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to creginalan's comment
luanne garner

You do make a good point about privacy and company info. I still think it's wrong to ask for someone's password.

April 23 2012 at 11:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dragondancer1814

Then I guess I'd have a great shot at a job if I was looking for work because I don't even HAVE a Facebook page! It's not only the censorship that Facebook shows towards certain pictures and the idea that bosses have the "right" to demand your password so they can rattle around your page-it's simply that I have neither the time nor the inclination to get "plugged in" that much. I've got too many offline things to do to spend every waking minute on the Internet.

Thank goodness Maryland is becoming the first state to make it illegal for a boss to demand an employee or prospective employee's social media page passwords. I hope other states follow suit. My passwords are nobody's business but my own.

April 23 2012 at 1:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
John Lewis

There's an easy way around this if you have a very common name--just state that you do not have a Facebook account. You'll find that it's almost impossible to find you among all the google hits they get on that name.

The alternative is to go ahead and create a separate account specifically for job searches, and direct the potential employer to that one--which you keep sanitized and unlinked to anything in your actual account. Fill it with 'safe' article links to cooking or gardening, or even your favorite bland hobbies, and nothing else. Keep it dull, safe and boring.

April 23 2012 at 10:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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