With all the difficulty in getting truthful references, more and more HR managers are turning to Web research and social-networking sites to get inside info on applicants. And some of the info they uncover isn’t available anywhere else — and isn’t pretty.
CareerBuilder.com did a survey of 3,169 HR managers and asked how many screened applicants by checking their profiles on social-networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace.
- 22% said they used the sites to do applicant-background checks, up from 11% a year ago.
- 34% of those who used the sites said they found something that immediately led to disqualifying the applicant as a viable candidate.
- 41% who disqualified candidates said they were motivated to do so because of profile info about drinking or drug use; 40% said they nixed candidates because of inappropriate photos.
- Another 9% said they didn’t do research on social-networking sites but planned to do so in the near future.
- On the plus side, 24% said they found info that improved the candidate’s chances of getting hired — such as qualifications, good communication skills or imaginative use of social networking.
- And some applicants aren’t clueless about the trend; 16% said they’d tailored their profile info to appeal to potential employers.