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article imageSocial media content affects the chances of job candidates

By Tim Sandle     Mar 13, 2020 in Internet
Be careful what you post on social media, especially drunken escapades. As employers increasingly look at interview candidates' social media activity, a new study shows how your social profile affects your recruitment prospects.
The research, which hails from Penn State, shows how employers and recruitment agencies are less likely to pick job candidates with certain social media profiles. Such undesirable traits include those who appear too self-involved or opinionated. in addition, those who appear to regularly partake in drug abuse or excessive alcohol consumption as also likely not to get through the door.
The proportion of U.S.-based employers who are dipping into the Facebook pages or Twitter feeds of prospective candidates is a staggering 70 percent. The new research identified this figure and found further that 60 percent of employers were prepared to eliminated candidates if their social media content was classed as 'negative'.
According to the lead researcher involved in the project, Professor Michael Tews says: "It's important for job candidates to be aware of how they portray themselves in social media."
To test out how influential social media profiles are on the hiring process, the researchers enlisted 436 recruiters from a range of different companies across three sectors: 61 percent in the hospitality sector; the others from information technology and healthcare.
Each manager was given a fictitious scenario involving a hypothetical job candidate. The candidate had ticked a number of boxes thus far, in answering interview questions well and appearing enthusiastic about the job on offer. One concern was introduced into the mix, in that the prospective candidate had changed jobs fairly frequently.
The hiring managers were then allowed to examine the candidate's Facebook profile and were then asked to assess the individual's employment suitability. The mock Facebook profiles were varied, with one of sixteen profiles given to one of the 436 recruiters. Interestingly, alcohol and drug use did not register very high.
It was found that self-absorption had the greatest negative impact on whether a person was likely to get hired, coming above being overly opinionated or engaging in drug and alcohol use (or misuse). The area of concern scoring second was to do with opinions shared online, especially apparent extreme and seemingly controversial ideas.
The research has been published in the International Journal of Selection and Assessment. The research paper is titled "The effects of negative content in social networking profiles on perceptions of employment suitability."
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