Employers increasingly search social media
Almost one in three jobseekers think employers won't look at their social media profile, according to a survey by recruitment firm Hays.
The other two-thirds of the 510 job seekers surveyed were changing their privacy settings when job hunting or untagging pictures and editing content.
Increasingly employers are using social media sites as part of their risk management, to gain a better insight into a candidate's character and likely cultural fit with the organisation, said Hays managing director Jason Walker.
Most candidates have a social media profile, and employers were doing Google searches and looking on sites such as Facebook to see what they had posted about their after-hours social activities.
Employers also were using social media sites to check out information provided on CVs - both what has been stated as past history and what had been left out, Walker said.
In some cases, employers had discovered past work history that was left off CVs including that the candidate had worked for companies implicated in fraudulent behaviour, he said.
"In such cases, a Facebook profile with a public setting, content on video-sharing sites or on forums or blogs may reveal information that could make an interviewer see you in a different light."
Candidates should assume all publicly available online content could be used as part of the job selection process.
An Australian trend that hadn't yet crossed the Tasman was for lawyers in employment cases to complain when an employer hadn't carried out social media sites on a worker before hiring them, Walker said.
The implication was that the employers should have known about the person's poor reputation before hiring them, and social media searches should form part of their pre-employment checking.
Of course, job hunters could also use social media to their advantage.
One example would be creating a LinkedIn profile and leveraging the network, Walker said.
To do this effectively, a candidate would need a clear idea of the role they're looking for and find groups related to this area.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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