Employers less likely to hire applicants with no social media presence

Online searches are being used more often to weed out potential candidates.


While job applicants are used to being told to ditch the beer pictures on Facebook, more than half of U.S. companies now are less likely to interview a candidate who has no online presence.

A national survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder found that more than 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online. The majority of companies will dig through social profiles, but find it even more suspect if they see nothing at all.

“Most workers have some sort of online presence today — and more than half of employers won’t hire those without one,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “This shows the importance of cultivating a positive online persona. Job seekers should make their professional profiles visible online and ensure any information that could negatively impact their job search is made private or removed.”

» RELATED: What is cyber-vetting? It could cost you your job

The survey included a representative sample of more than 2,300 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes in the private sector. Cyber-vetting, the practice of researching potential candidates online, is becoming one of the primary ways companies find the right match for an open position.

Jason Eckert, director of career services at the University of Dayton, has seen his share of social media faux pas committed by students looking to land a job after graduation. He’s also seen students land positions because of their social media skills.

More than 70 percent of employers will use social media to screen candidates before hiring, a significant increase from the 11 percent of companies who practiced cyber-vetting in 2006. It’s become so important to employers that 30 percent of human resource departments have an employee dedicated to check social media profiles.

Eckert recalled one student in particular who had a job offer revoked after the employer saw his profile picture on Facebook. “He made his Facebook profile picture a very unflattering picture of himself dressed very scantily and drinking alcohol,” he said.

» RELATED: Despite retail job loss, teen employment making a comeback

Approximately 54 percent of employers acknowledged finding content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate for an open role. Because of that, UD’s career services department talks to students about social media do’s and don’ts — and they encourage students to create a LinkedIn profile for employers to look at.

“It’s having a professional presence,” he said. “It’s illustrating you’re part of the professional culture of 2017. I still see instances where young people are making mistakes online, but that number has decreased compared to four or five years ago.”

Doug Barry, president and CEO of Dayton-based BarryStaff staffing company, said job seekers should be aware of what their goals are online. Applicants should make sure they’re digital brand doesn’t contradict the values or messages of the companies they’re trying to work for.

““Be smart about it,” Barry said of a person’s online profile. “Employers are looking for reasons not to hire you.”

“On the flip-side,” he said, “employers are making a mistake if they’re not hiring people for not having a digital profile. A lot of people don’t want to live in the digital world. It’s not a bad thing to be a private person. I would caution employers looking negatively upon that.”

»RELATED: Walmart hires more than 5,000 veterans in Ohio

Katie Sturgis, director of talent acquisition for Dayton-headquartered CareSource, said the company does have a social media policy to remind employees that they represent the company online and in person. CareSource still hires people who don’t have an online presence, but Sturgis said social media can be a “first impression” for companies to get to know candidates.

“A tool we utilize on a daily basis is LinkedIn,” she said. “I think the key is providing accurate and up-to-date information. Candidates need to realize this is their opportunity to represent themselves out on social media.”

Employers are also using social media to monitor their own employees. More than half of employers use social networking sites to research current employees. Thirty-four percent of employers have found content online that caused them to reprimand or fire an employee, according to the survey.

Melissa Spirek, full professor of media studies at Wright State University, said companies use digital information to determine the ability of the candidate to fit the culture — and they also use personal data posted online to learn information that would be illegal to ask in an interview.

Such information can include a candidate’s martial status, age, even sexual orientation.

Spirek’s advice to job applicants: “They should ask themselves, ‘What is the potential cost of posting this message?’”

By the numbers

70: Percentage of employers who use social media to screen candidates, up from 11 percent in 2006.

57: Percentage of employers who are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online.

54: Percentage of employers who acknowledge not hiring a candidate based on their social media profile.

Source: CareerBuilder

FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS

» German grocery retailer Lidl looks to expand in Ohio

»Skyline brings back popular menu deal for limited time

» New GE company to add 40 employees in Cincinnati

»Children’s clothing retailer closing 350 stores, including 3 locally

» Emerson’s $100 million expansion: 5 things to know



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Phone carrier to launch service that keeps drivers from texting
Phone carrier to launch service that keeps drivers from texting

A new service debuts Monday that aims squarely at the problem of distracted driving. Ready Mobile, a mobile phone provider, will offer a wireless plan called “Groove.” Groove pauses text messaging (SMS), data and other phone distractions before they reach a driver’s phone. The idea is that phone calls go through, but not texts, emails...
Equifax apologizes for sending people to fake company website
Equifax apologizes for sending people to fake company website

Equifax linked people to a fake online site that mimicked the link for its own site on its massive Sept. 7 security breach that affected 143 million Americans. After the breach, which involved Social Security numbers and other key identifying information, Equifax set up a site, equifaxsecurity2017.com, that directed people to information on the...
Death Wish coffee recalled over botulism concerns
Death Wish coffee recalled over botulism concerns

Death Wish Coffee Company, a New York-based coffee producer that advertises itself as maker of the “world’s strongest coffee,” is recalling some of its products over concerns that it could become tainted with the deadly botulin toxin. Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a notice issued Tuesday that 11-ounce...
Pet store that makes slow-cooked food opens new location in Miamisburg
Pet store that makes slow-cooked food opens new location in Miamisburg

Pet Wants has opened a new store in Miamisburg. The pet store, which is locally owned by Jackie and Ray Covington, has opened its new retial storefront at 38 Fiesta Lane and offers free, personal delivery to Franklin, Germantown, Miamisburg, West Carrollton, Moraine, Trotwood, Englewood, Vandalia, Clayton and the surrounding areas. The store open on...
CVS Health to limit opioid access to customers
CVS Health to limit opioid access to customers

Local residents whose health benefits are overseen by one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers will soon be limited to how many opioids they can get at one time. In the face of a sweeping opioid overdose epidemic — in part blamed on over-prescription of opioids — CVS Caremark plans to limit opioid prescriptions to seven days or less...
More Stories