Recent Survey Finds 37 Percent of Surveyed Companies Use Social Media to Vet Candidates


Thirty-seven percent of 2,303 surveyed hiring managers and human resources professionals use social media to look into job candidates, according CareerBuilder. Employers primarily used Facebook (65 percent) and LinkedIn (63 percent) to research candidates, while 16 percent used Twitter.

When asked why the use social media to look into candidates' backgrounds, they said:
  • To see if the candidate presents himself/herself professionally, 65 percent.
  • To see if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture, 51 percent.
  • To learn more about the candidate's qualifications, 45 percent.
  • To see if the candidate is well-rounded, 35 percent.
  • To look for reasons not to hire the candidate, 12 percent.
Thirty-four percent of hiring managers and human resources professionals said they found information on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate. That information included:
  • Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info, 49 percent.
  • There was info about candidate drinking or using drugs, 45 percent.
  • Candidate had poor communication skills, 35 percent.
  • Candidate bad mouthed previous employer, 33 percent.
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc., 28 percent.
  • Candidate lied about qualifications, 22 percent.
While gaining in popularity, seeking permission from prospective candidates to gain access to their personal Facebook, LinkedIn, or other personal social media account, has yet to stand the equal employment opportunity legal litmus test. Before considering instituting a policy or practice which requires candidates for employment, promotion, or transfer to provide their social media password and to use information gained from those accounts in the employment selection decision process, we recommend discussing the matter with legal counsel specializing in employment law.

Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC