One Third Of Employers Have Rejected Candidates Based On Social Media, Search

Over a decade into the social media age, you might expect most people would now understand that if you put something incriminating on the Internet it lives forever, and may well destroy your life. But the message seems to be taking some time to sink in, as employers continue to disqualify candidates based on the dumbass things they post on social media, according to a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management.

In fact 43% of companies surveyed by the SHRM are using social media or search to screen job candidates, and of these 36% said they have rejected job applicants based on information gathered from social media or through an online search, including evidence of illegal activity or discrepancies with their job applications.

Crunching the numbers, that means 84% of employers who look at social media or search have rejected candidates based on the results. On a happier note, they aren’t necessarily rejecting people out of hand: 39% of respondents said they also give candidates a chance to explain any information that raises concerns.



An even larger proportion of employers are using social media as a recruiting tool, with 84% currently doing so and 9% planning to do so in the near future. That’s up from 56% in 2011. And it’s actually an active recruitment channel, with 82% using it to find candidates who weren’t originally applying for a job, and 71% using it to find candidates with a specific set of skills.

No surprise, LinkedIn is the clear leader in social media recruiting platforms, used by 96% of respondents in 2015, up slightly from 95% in 2011. However other platforms are catching up: thus 66% of respondents said they used Facebook for recruiting in 2015, up from 58% in 2011, and 53% used Twitter, up from 42% in 2011. Further down the totem pole 12% used Google in 2015, up from 8% in 2013; 11% used YouTube, up from 8% in 2013; and 7% used Instagram in 2015 (the first year for which there was data).

1 comment about "One Third Of Employers Have Rejected Candidates Based On Social Media, Search".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, January 12, 2016 at 3:45 p.m.

    You need to either crunch your numbers better or state your findings more clearly. If 43% of companies are using search or social for screening, and 36% of those have rejected candidates, that means 15.5% of all employers have rejected a candidate based on search or social results.

    Now, if 36% of all companies have rejected a candidate based on these criteria, and 43% of companies are using these critiera, then it could be inferred that 84% of employers using search/social have rejected candidates based on search/social results.

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