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HR Focus


Socially acceptable


For this month’s Human Resources (HR) focus, Josh Wolford, Staff Writer for WebProNews, asks: Do background checks


for prospective employees include social media? Since the advent of Facebook, people have had to worry about how the new culture of completely open information could affect their reputations. Some worry more than others – kids with strict parents, college grads trying to get into professional school, people in the public eye, for instance. But to a certain extent, we should all be wary of what we post on social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (or at least learn how to use privacy settings). That’s because a significant number of employers are still patrolling those sites for reasons not to hire you.


In fact, in a study conducted by Career Builder, 37% of hiring managers and human resource people from various industries said that their online background checks for prospective employees includes social media. That number is actually down from last year’s


42


similar study (50%) and also less than 2009 (45%) – but it’s still nearly two in every five employers.


The decrease could have something to do with the fact that 15% of those surveyed said their company has specific rules barring the practice. The survey also unearthed 11% who


“34% of hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate.”


said that they plan on scanning their employees’ Facebook profiles in the near future.


Out of those 37% of HR professionals and hiring consultants perusing


through your social media accounts, one-third of them said that they had found reason no tot hire a job candidate based on their profile. The top reason? 49% said that inappropriate photos and information threw up the red light. That was followed very closely by “info about drinking or using drugs,” at 45%.


Other red flags: “Poor communication skills,” which I can only assume means the individual sounds like an idiot in their statuses or tweets. Also, talking badly about previous employers is a no-no - 33% said that they have binned a prospective employee because of that. Nobody wants an employee that’s going to publicly trash their employer if things go wrong.


Of course, it’s only the bad stuff that people care about mostly. There’s a


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