Social Media Secrets From Hiring Managers


You already know hiring managers might be looking at your social media profile, but do you know what they're looking for? The answer is more nuanced than you might think. A new survey reveals that 65 percent of hiring managers who checked social networks did so to see how job candidates presented themselves while 51 percent wanted to determine whether the candidate was a good fit for the organization.

Luckily for job-seekers, just 12 percent of hiring managers were looking social media to find reasons not to hire a candidate. Other uses of social networks in the hiring process included to learn more about a candidate's qualifications and to see if the candidate was well-rounded. Overall, just fewer than 40 percent of hiring managers admitted to searching social networks to research job candidates, but an additional 11 percent were planning on checking these networks soon.

The networks of choice for hiring managers are Facebook and LinkedIn, used by more than 60 percent of managers when they check a candidate. Just 16 percent of managers checked Twitter.

"Because social media is a dominant form of communication today, you can certainly learn a lot about a person by viewing their public, online personas," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "However, hiring managers and human resources departments have to make a careful, determined decision as to whether information found online is relevant to the candidates' qualifications for the job."

[3 Social Media Mistakes Job Hunters Should Avoid]

Thirty-four percent of hiring managers said they have not hired candidates because of something they saw on social networks and 29 percent said they hired a candidate because of their social media pages.

The most common strike against candidates, according to hiring managers, was posting inappropriate or provocative pictures online. Additionally, hiring managers reported info about drinking or drug use, poor communication skills, bad-mouthing a prior employer, making discriminatory comments and lying about qualifications on social media were other reasons for not hiring a candidate.

Conversely, job candidates helped themselves in their job search by:

  • Showing their personality on social networks
  • Conveying a professional image
  • Providing background info that is supported by professional qualifications
  • Showing a wide range of interests
  • Displaying communication skills
  • Being creative
  • Having other people post references about you

"Job-seekers should be mindful of what potential employers can learn about them online," Haefner said. "If you choose to leave social media content public, tailor the message to your advantage. Filter out anything that can tarnish your professional reputation and post communications, links and photos that portray you in the best possible light."

The research in this poll was based on the responses of 2,303 hiring mangers. The poll was conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.

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