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What recruiters really think when they find your social profile

The 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey results are out, and included is some interesting information on what recruiters think when they find your social media profile.

meeting interview

meeting interview

Yes, they saw that picture

These days, everyone is in the public eye. This only becomes more true as social media advances. Whatever you are willing to put out for the world to see is accessible by anyone at anytime.

The aforementioned “anyone” can especially apply to potential employers or recruiters. It is difficult for an employer/recruiter to resist looking at an applicant’s social media presence, practically making it a part of the process.

State of the industry

So, what exactly is it that they are thinking when looking through one’s social media? In the 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey by The Polling Company and WomanTrend, recruiters and human resources professionals explain the state of the industry. What was determined is that recruiters use social media as a way to find top quality hires as competition in markets increase.

In an infographic based on the study, recruiting priorities for 2015, employee tenure, jobseekers’ social presence, 12-month outlook, and how to make a good impression were all examined.

Recruiting priorities

The recruiting priorities for 2015 were broken down into seven categories. The percentages next to the categories reflect the level of importance.

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  • Improving quality of hire (28%)
  • Growing talent pipeline (24%)
  • Improving time to hire (15%)
  • Increasing retention rate (13%)
  • Growing employer brand (10%)
  • Increasing focus on passive talent (5%)
  • Other/not sure (6%)

Employee tenure

The average employee’s tenure tends to have a short shelf life. Thirty percent of employees last between one and three years, 29 percent of employees last between four and six years, 15 percent of employees last between seven and ten years, and 14 percent of employees last ten or more years at a company.

So what about when they snoop you on Facebook?

As mentioned above, recruiters will often peruse through an applicant’s social media world prior to scheduling them for an interview. The infographic found that what they look for can be broken down into nine categories. The feelings toward each category are represented in percentages of either positive, negative, or neutral.

  • Spelling or grammatical errors in posts or tweets
    • 5% positive
    • 72% negative
    • 22% neutral
  • Photos of alcohol consumption
    • 1% positive
    • 54% negative
    • 45% neutral
  • Participation in local or national organizations and groups
    • 76% positive
    • 1% negative
    • 24% neutral
  • Political affiliations
    • 3% positive
    • 13% negative
    • 85% neutral
  • Reference to marijuana use
    • 1% positive
    • 75% negative
    • 24% neutral
  • Selfies
    • 3% positive
    • 25% negative
    • 73% neutral
  • Discussing current events
    • 47% positive
    • 1% negative
    • 52% neutral
  • Personal presentation
    • 59% positive
    • 3% negative
    • 38% neutral
  • Limited or no social media presence
    • 7% positive
    • 19% negative
    • 74% neutral

Recruiters predict more competition in 2016

The 12-month outlook examined competition in job markets. It found that 67 percent of recruiters expect competition in hiring to become more competitive, 49.7 percent of recruiters will increase their social media investments in the next year, and 27.9 percent of recruiters expect it [competition] will remain the same.

First impressions

Lastly, the elements of what makes more a good first impression were broken down. The infographic found six qualities and the corresponding percentages express the level of importance.

  • Enthusiasm (87%)
  • Industry knowledge (85%)
  • Conversation skills (79%)
  • Punctuality (66%)
  • Appearance (63%)
  • Handshake and greeting (38%)

Be your best, online and off

As everyone knows, job placement is difficult on both sides. It is important to remember to show your best self, not only in person, but online as you never know who may be looking.


Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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