Social Media Increasingly Used to Winnow Job Applicants

Recruiting job candidates via social media is growing, with 84% of organizations using it currently, and 9% planning to use it, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) finds.

In 2011, only 56% of organizations used social media for recruitment, SHRM says. Recruiting passive job candidates (82%) is the top reason organizations use social media for recruitment, followed by increasing employer brand and recognition (77%) and targeting job candidates with a specific set of skills (71%).

Companies that do not use social media for recruiting cited concerns about legal risk (e.g., discovering protected characteristics such as race, religion, age, etc.) and lack of human resources staff time as the top reasons (both at 46%).

Forty-three percent of responding organizations said they use social media or online search engines to screen job applicants. Forty-four percent agreed that a job candidate’s social media profile can provide information about work-related performance.

More than one-third of companies have disqualified a job candidate in the past year because of concerns about information found on public social media or an online search.

Candidates were disqualified for illegal activity and discrepancies with job applications, among other reasons. However, two out of five organizations (39%) also allowed those candidates to explain any concerning information, an increase of 13% points compared to 2011. 

The SHRM survey findings are available here

Recent research from staffing firm OfficeTeam finds the most common social media mistakes that take job seekers out of the running for a position cited by HR managers are writing negative or inappropriate comments (45%) and posting or being tagged in questionable photos (35%).