· News

More employers plan to use social networking sites to research and screen job candidates

A growing number of employers are making use of social networking to screen candidates, with more than half using sites such as Twitter and Facebook as part of their recruitment strategy.

According to careerbuilder.co.uk. 53% of employers said they use social networking sites to research job candidates and 12% plan to start using social networking sites for screening.

Of those that conduct online searches/background checks of job candidates, 43% use search engines, 12% use Facebook and 12% use LinkedIn. Three per cent search blogs, while an additional 4% follow candidates on Twitter.

Four out of 10 employers report they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate.  Examples included candidates who lied about qualifications (38%), candidates who made discriminatory comments (13%), candidates who posted content about them drinking or using drugs (10%), candidates who posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (9%), candidates who bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients (9%) and candidates who used social networking to share confidential information about a previous employer (8%).

But even when jobseekers secure a position, they need to mindful of their online usage: 48% of employers monitor employees' use of e-mail and the internet and 28% have fired an employee for information found on his or her social networking profile.

The most common reasons for termination were negative posts about the company or another employee, sharing confidential information or representing themselves in an unprofessional manner (38% each).