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Survey: 57% Of Employers Less Likely To Interview A Candidate They Can't Find Online

Scooby Doo Where Are You 

CareerBuilder released their annual survey, Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates at All-Time High, about how companies are using social media to source and screen candidates. There are the usual “headline” stats:

  • 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates
  • 54% have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles

That last one is the one that usually gets the most attention. Here’s the thing… of course the number is that high. Look at the wording of it. Of course any/every “Fortune 500” company, as an example, has not hired someone because of their online stupidity profile. Think of how many people apply with them. So they didn’t hire one? That’s easy to understand.

And I think the 70% number is much higher. Surely some respondents didn’t want to tell the truth.

44% say that they found things that caused them to hire someone. We should spend more time on that down the road. That’s a powerful number.

The one stat that gets my attention and something I talk about all the time…

  • 57% are less likely to interview a candidate they can't find online

I’m glad I can finally use a statistic/metric on something I have long ago been talking about… if I can’t find you online it is weird.

A reminder that when I recruit it is mostly technology, product and data professionals along with the occasional director to CxO roles.

If I am looking for a Ruby Developer and I can’t find them on a meetup page, GitHub, LinkedIn, Twitter, gamer site or some random comment they left on a tech blog that feels a bit weird to me.

This is not to say everyone should have or needs a rocking personal web site using intense SEO practices and PPC to drive to traffic to it.

But to find… nothing?

That seems weird.

Yes I understand that some want to be off the grid. I’m cool with that.

And yes I understand not all career paths require one to be visible online although I could make a case for LinkedIn and infrequently networking on it.

What if while networking, doing a job search or before a big meeting you did an online search for who you are meeting with and you come up empty? Weird, right?

If you can’t be found online and are not in witness protection or otherwise trying to stay off the grid… leave a few kernels of popcorn along the trail know as the Internet.

Back to the survey as a whole, here are some more statistics…

What employers are looking for:

  • 30% have someone dedicated to the task
  • 61% are looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job
  • 50% looking for a professional online persona
  • 37% to see what other people are posting about the candidate
  • 24% for a reason not to hire a candidate

That last one bothers me. I wonder if those doing the search or doing the hiring can always pass their test using the same criteria.

Why someone was not hired:

  • 39% Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information
  • 38% Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs
  • 32% Candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion
  • 30% Candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee
  • 27% Candidate lied about qualifications
  • 27% Candidate had poor communication skills
  • 26% Candidate was linked to criminal behavior
  • 23% Candidate shared confidential information from previous employers
  • 22% Candidate's screen name was unprofessional
  • 17% Candidate lied about an absence
  • 17% Candidate posted too frequently

Why someone was hired:

  • 38% Information supported their professional qualifications
  • 37% Great communication skills
  • 36% A professional image
  • 35% Creativity

My takeaway…

Be found, look smart and don’t be stupid.

Simple, right?

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