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, according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management survey.
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 percentage points compared to 2011.
“Social media is another way recruiters verify applicants’ employment history and ensure that they are still viable applicants,” says 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.”
Using Social Media in Recruiting
According to the survey, 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.
Candidates were disqualified for illegal activity and discrepancies with job applications.
Companies that did 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%).
Mobile recruiting is also a popular tool among companies, with two-thirds of organizations (66%) currently leveraging it.
“Smartphone popularity has exploded, so the use of mobile—for both employers and job seekers—is a natural evolution for recruiting using technology,” Esen explains. “Companies are adapting to technology and to workers’ interests and, in doing so, they are saving time.”
Employers have adapted to mobile users by optimizing careers websites and job postings, adding mobile-enabled job applications, and making careers websites more prominent on company homepages.