Employers Use Social Networking Sites to Check Out Job Candidates

November 8, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - According to a new survey released by Vault.com, 44% of employers use social networking Web sites like MySpace and Facebook to examine the profiles of job candidates.

A press release said 39% reported they have looked up the profile of a current employee. One employer said he looks at these sites, “on occasion, seeking to both corroborate experience and to see if I can learn a bit more about the person.”

Profiles that reveal questionable behavior or attitudes can be harmful to job seekers, Vault warned in the press release. Of employers, 82% said something they perceive as negative on a profile would affect their decision to hire an applicant.

Most employees (75%) are aware that potential employers may look up their profiles and 28% think that something on their profiles might be a turn-off to future bosses, the survey found. Fifty-seven percent of employees indicated they take security measures, such as using the Web site’s privacy controls or editing their profiles when in the midst of a job search.

One employee said: “Although I have nothing to hide, I’d rather some employers not see what personal messages my friends have written me.”

Vault’s Social Networking Web Site Survey was conducted in October and consists of 700 responses from employers and employees.