More Than One-Third of Companies Have Disqualified A Candidate Due to Social Media

More than one-third of companies have disqualified a job candidate in the past year due to information found on public social media or an online search, according to a survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Candidates were disqualified for illegal activity and discrepancies with job applications, among other reasons. “Social media is another way recruiters verify applicants’ employment history and ensure that they are still viable applicants,” said Evren Esen, director of survey programs at SHRM. “Social media is here to stay, so employers and employees are utilizing it in various ways throughout the job search process.”

Of the organizations participating in the 2015 study:

  •     22% use social media screening.
  •     43% review public social media profiles or perform online searches to screen job candidates.
  •     24% always use screening for executive level hiring, and another 34% frequently screen. The percentage decreases for lower level jobs.
  •     36% of organizations found something in their screening that caused them to disqualify a candidate from the position.

Recruiting passive job candidates remains the top reason that organizations use social media for recruitment. Currently, 84% of organizations use social media to recruit and 9% plan to use it.

Doing research, finding information online, and adding this important piece of the puzzle to an employee’s background check could make a difference in the picture that your applicant paints of himself.

The survey asked about job levels recruited via social media. Responses compared to prior years’ surveys include:

  •     Nonmanagement, salaried: 87%, unchanged from 2013 and up from 82% in 2011
  •     Management: 82%, up from 80% in 2013 and 77% in 2011
  •     Nonmanagement, hourly employees: 55%, up from 48% in 2013 and 33% in 2011
  •     Executive/upper management: 45%, up from 41% in 2013 and 39% in 2011

The survey included 410 HR professionals and was conducted from Nov. 19 to Dec. 4, 2015.