What Employers Look Up on Social Media Sites

Mostly what HR professionals are looking up online is pretty standard information about candidates, like LinkedIn recommendations. Fewer — but still quite a few — are trying to find out more controversial stuff, such as photos or what groups on Facebook a job candidate belongs to.

That’s the upshot of a SHLPreVisor study of more than 460 human resources professionals. The majority (53%) were in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with 39% in the Americas and 8% in Australasia. Here’s a chart showing what’s being searched:

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What Employers Look Up Currently look at Plan to
Previous work history 46% 15%
Education 46% 14%
Recommendations from others (e.g., on LinkedIn) 33% 19%
Other candidate information (e.g., hobbies, interests) 24% 16%
Candidate’s stated interests, “Likes”, current activities 21% 15%
Comments/links posted by candidate 21% 15%
Group affiliations (e.g., community or religious groups) 21% 11%
Pictures 15% 8%
Comments/links posted by candidate’s friend 10% 11%


2 Comments on “What Employers Look Up on Social Media Sites

  1. The results of the survey aren’t surprising. The problem, however, is that the information available on social networks does not include those traits that most strongly predict performance. One wonders why anyone even collects such information – why bother? Performance predictors are competencies; have that information and recruiting success increases dramatically.

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