More than a third of employers have turned down a candidate based on their social media profile, with more than half of HR professionals admitting a candidate’s online reputation has an influence on whether or not they hire them.
Research by Monster and YouGov also found two-thirds of recruiters admit to searching online for a candidate during the hiring process.
In addition, the research showed that while two-thirds of job seekers believe a company would be likely to turn them down for a role because of their online activity, very few actively manage their social profile with only half (48%) saying they are conscious of how their online reputation might look to a potential employer.
Millennials were found to be the most concerned with the potential impact of their social media profiles, with two-thirds (67%) believing companies will turn down applicants before the interview process has begun because of perceived social media personas. As a result, one in five young people say they are very conscious of how their online reputation could impact job prospects.
However, the research highlighted how online reputation works both ways, with employers scrutinised as much as candidates – more than a quarter (28%) of employees said they have been influenced by what they had read about an employer on social media.
Andy Sumner, managing director for Monster UK and Ireland, said; “Many focus on the potential negatives of social media when it comes to job applications, but, while it’s important to manage your profile and think about privacy settings to ensure you’re not oversharing holiday snaps, social media can also be a really powerful tool to build a personal brand and make a candidate really attractive to an employer.
“More and more employees and employers are looking for a good cultural fit, so often a Google search will tell a recruiter more than a CV can. Candidates should think about what they use each channel for – whether personal or professional – to build a profile for themselves. The same applies to employers. The external employer brand of a business is really significant when attracting talent – so recruiters should think of the image they are projecting as an organisation, as well as spending time using social to understand their interviewees.”
According to the research, with online and offline lives continuing to merge, a quarter (24%) of UK jobseekers say they would use a professional social media network to find a new job and on in ten would use general social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.