Employers Find Reasons not to Hire with Internet Search

October 27, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey from CareerBuilder.com revealed that more than a quarter (26%) of hiring managers surveyed have used Internet search engines to research job candidates.

In addition, 12% said they have used social networking sites to screen potential employees, according to a CareerBuilder.com news release. Of those hiring managers that searched the Internet for information on job candidates, 51% said they did not hire the candidate based on what they found. Of those who scoured social networking sites, 63% said what they found led them to pass on a potential employee, the news release said.

Types of information found that caused hiring managers to decide not to hire a job candidate included:

  • 31% – candidate lied about qualifications,
  • 25% – candidate had poor communication skills,
  • 24% – candidate was linked to criminal behavior,
  • 19% – candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee,
  • 19% – candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs,
  • 15% – candidate shared confidential information from previous employers,
  • 12% – candidate lied about an absence,
  • 11% – candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, and
  • 8% – candidate’s screen name was unprofessional.

Rosemary Haefner, President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com, pointed out in the press release that, while some information shared over the Internet can hurt an individual’s hiring chances, other information may help.

According to the hiring managers surveyed, types of information they found on the Internet that helped them decide to hire a job candidate included:

  • 64% – candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications for the job,
  • 40% – candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests,
  • 34% – candidate had great communication skills,
  • 31% – candidate’s site conveyed a professional image,
  • 31% – got a good feel for the candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the company culture,
  • 23% – other people posted great references about the candidate,
  • 23% – candidate was creative, and
  • 19% – candidate received awards and accolades.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, included responses from 1,150 hiring managers within the US.