HR · 29 September 2015

The biggest mistakes jobseekers make on social media, according to recruiters

Some 61 per cent of recruiters would be more or much more likely to reconsider a hiring decision based on the positive content on a candidate's social media profile
The majority – 61 per cent – of recruiters would be more or much more likely to reconsider a hiring decision based on the positive content on a candidate’s social media profile

Recruitment platform Jobvite has undertaken its first annual study of the social recruiting market in the UK and found that the way people behave on social media has a significant impact on their ability to land a job.

Some 500 recruiting and HR professionals took part in the survey, and said the things they were most likely to notice on social platforms were political affiliations (63 per cent), average tenure (57 per cent) and mutual connections (29 per cent), reflecting the power of networking.

Professionals were negatively swayed if they saw references to marijuana use (65 per cent), spelling or grammar mistakes (54 per cent) and pictures of people drinking alcohol (46 per cent), while selfies were also viewed unfavourably – 34 per cent weren’t impressed with them.

Advice offered for candidates operating on social media included sharing details about volunteer, professional or social engagement work, with 67 per cent of recruiters viewing this positively and double checking all punctuation. While many may view the minefield of sharing political opinions a no-no for social media, 57 per cent of recruiters said they viewed people engaging with current events – appropriately – as a positive.

Despite social media usage being viewed as a tricky place to navigate well in both a personal and professional respect, Jobvite found that if done right, it can be a tool to impressing potential new employers. Some 61 per cent of recruiters would be more or much more likely to reconsider a hiring decision based on the positive content on a candidate’s social media profile.

The research also indicated the majority (60 per cent) of recruiters didn’t actually use social media in the hiring process, though nearly half of those said they were planning to in the future – reflecting the changing face of recruiting.

Perhaps surprisingly, of those who did already use social media for recruitment – the majority opted for Facebook (75 per cent) and Twitter (57 per cent) before LinkedIn (38 per cent).

For employers debating over whether to use a recruitment service, Jobvite indicated that employee referrals were the most effective source of quality hires, followed by direct applications, intern hires, social and professional networks and then outside recruiters. In the UK, 35 per cent of recruiters spent £5,000 or more on outside agencies or recruiters annually.

Additionally, the power of perks was reflected in results of the study which found candidates could be swayed by the offer of flexible working (44 per cent), employer matched contribution pension plan (36 per cent), free transport or parking (30 per cent) and a casual dress code (30 per cent).

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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