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One in three companies have rejected candidates over their social media behavior

According to a recent survey, social media has now begun affecting potential employment with over one third  of companies disqualifying job candidates because of information found on social media or the web in the past year.

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Not so private anymore

As social media gains popularity it begins affecting parts of our lives we never thought it would, which seems to be the case in a recent survey released by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). According to the survey, social media has now begun affecting potential employment with over one third of companies disqualifying job candidates because of information found on social media or the web in the past year.

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Surprise! Breaking the law can disqualify you

Companies reported disqualifying candidates for discovering illegal activities, discrepancies in job applications, along with “other reasons”. And though this may seem like an invasion of privacy to job seekers who just like to have a good time and show the world,  39% of employers actually allow candidates to explain any concerning information they find, opposed to rejecting them immediately, which used to be the standard practice five years ago.

Social media as a recruiting method

As companies begin to leverage social media for recruiting, they not only use it to check out your activity but also to post jobs; 89% use it for the latter.

An even closer look at the study reveals recruiting practices further, showing that 87% of companies use social media to recruit non-management, salaried employees, 82% for management, 55% for hourly employees, and 45% for executive management. So, if you are looking for a salaried, or management position, you should be the most careful.

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So what is the solution?

Overall, I think social media bleeding into the job market is just another inevitable side effect of our generation’s obsession with being connected at all time. I definitely understand the illegal activity part, and believe it’s fair; who wants to hire someone who thinks it’s clever to post a pic of them smoking a joint? But I am a little curious as to what warrants concerns with “discrepancies in job applications.”

From my social media, you can’t tell where I worked in the past, whether or not I met my sales goals, or if my team liked me or not. Either I need to work less and take more team selfies in front of our sales board, or companies should get a little more specific in what they are looking for and what they regard as “discrepancies” or “other reasons.”

Job seekers can’t fix something if they don’t know what the issue is. What do you all think? Fair or unfair? Leave your thoughts below.

#SocialMediaHiring

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Written By

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. SR

    February 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Fair or not, it’s the fact of the market now. Job seekers need to be more aware that they are a brand unto themselves now and should maintain their social presence the way that a national brand would.

  2. Colleen

    February 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Everyone is entitled to a personal life. Unless a candidate has posted derogatory remarks regarding an employer or coworker, or of illegal activities, it should not be an issue. That being said, there are many distasteful posts (prejudicial, fetishes, just plain mean, etc.) that would point to a candidate not being a good fit.

  3. Pingback: 5 Tips for Creating Your Company's Social Media Policy

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