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CareerBuilder Survey: More than half of employers review applicants' social media profiles

MUNICH - May 20, 2015 - What applicants post on their social media profiles can be both a blessing and a curse for their career opportunities - according to a recent study by CareerBuilder. 56 percent of employers have already checked applicants on social networks, and a further 9 percent plan to do the same in the future. That was the result of a nationwide study by CareerBuilder, which was carried out online with more than 400 employers.

And it is not just the professional networks that are spotted by companies. 81 percent look at the candidate's Facebook profile and 33 percent look at the candidate's Twitter feed. Only 31 percent check the professional network LinkedIn, 37 percent Google+. Social image-sharing networks are also not left out by the HR staff. Almost 22 percent check Instagram, 6 percent look at Pinterest. Employers also use search engines: 51 percent of companies use search engines such as Google to search for information about potential candidates and 10 percent want to do the same in the future.

Of those who searched for candidate profiles on social media, 32 percent found content that prevented them from hiring the applicant and 25 percent found content that made them reconsider their decision about the candidate.

When asked what type of content led them to remove a candidate from their list, employers gave the following reasons:

- Candidate has poor communication skills - 35 percent

- Candidate posted information about consuming alcohol or drugs - 33 percent

- Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photos - 32 percent

- Candidate posted discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. - 32 percent

- Candidate lied about his qualifications - 25 percent

- Candidate spoke ill of his former employer or colleague - 19 percent

- The candidate presented himself under an unprofessional name - 17 percent

- Candidate lied about absenteeism - 17 percent

- Candidate posted too often - 18 percent

- Candidate could be linked to criminal activity - 10 percent

“I like it” as an employer
On the other hand, 33 percent of employers said that when they searched social networks they discovered content that motivated them to hire an applicant. Some of these reasons included:

- Candidate was well educated - 37 percent

- Background knowledge of the candidate underscores his or her professional qualifications for the job - 36 percent

- Candidate was creative - 49 percent

- Others posted good references –20 percent

- Candidate had good communication skills - 45 percent

- The candidate's side conveyed a professional image - 41 percent

- Candidate received awards and praise - 21 percent

- The candidate's personality was easily recognizable and fitted well into the company - 38 percent

- Candidate posted a compelling video or other content - 18 percent

- The candidate had a large number of followers or subscribers - 5 percent

- Candidate interacted with the company's social media accounts - 26 percent

"Resumes only tell half the story, so employers are increasingly turning to social media and search engines to get a better picture of a candidate," said Tony Roy, President of CareerBuilder EMEA. "For this reason, applicants today have to be all the more clear about what they are saying online - and what is being said about them."



The study was carried out with 405 employees in Germany. The online interviews were conducted by Redshift Research in March & April 2015 using email invitations and an online survey. The results of each sample are subject to possible deviations. The amount of variation is measurable and is influenced by the number of interviews and the percentages that reflect the results. In this study in particular, the chances are 95 to 100 that the results of the survey, neither plus nor minus, deviate by more than 4.9 percentage points from the results that would have been obtained if interviews with all people in the universe - represented here by the sample - would have been carried out.


About CareerBuilder Germany

Since October 2011 the international solution provider for integrated recruiting CareerBuilder in Germany has united the brands JobScout24 and CareerBuilder under one roof.

The focus of the joint offer is on needs-oriented advice for the right recruiting mix. The results are tailor-made solutions that go far beyond the classic online job advertisement with products for employer branding, social recruiting or mobile internet.

CareerBuilder is part of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI).

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Press contact

Alexandra Schiekofer
CareerBuilder Germany GmbH
[email protected]