What Are Your Social Media Profiles Telling Recruiters?

There is a brand new survey out of human resources technology firm Jobvite, and it focuses on how recruiters are doing their job right now.

If you’re in college and getting ready to graduate, or a student looking for part time work, it’s important to focus on what recruiters are focused on. The survey has a lot of valuable data for young job seekers.

First some good news – the job market is better this year than it was last year. Good candidates are in demand, salaries are up and candidates have more flexibility to negotiate a higher salary.

Beyond your degree and your work and life experience, there is one area that you can focus on now to increase your chances of being hired into a job you want – that is your social media profiles and activity.

social recruitingSocial Recruiting

One important area of increased focus this year for hiring managers is social recruiting. If recruiters are spending more time, money and effort on using social media to find candidates, you can bet they’re spending more time finding and evaluating candidate social media profiles.

What specifically are they focused on? When it comes to your social media images and activity, the following can be red flags:

Typos – We hope there are no typos on your resume, but the survey shows that 72% of recruiters view typos – even on social media – as a negative.

Marijuana – It still illegal in most of the country, and some folks have a moral objection. 71% of recruiters don’t want to see it. If you’re in the job market, leave the party pictures off your profiles.

Oversharing – You might be surprised to see this, but if you’re constantly posting online, a recruiter may wonder whether you’re going to be on your phone all day when at work. If you’re sharing too much personal information, that might call into question your judgment or discretion. If you’re posting too much information about a prior job or employer, especially if it’s negative, that’s definitely a no-no.

Alcohol – Although most people drink at least occasionally, 47% of recruiters take a dim view of it being posted on your public social media. Act accordingly.

Selfies – Posting the odd selfie is no big deal, but be careful not to post too many of them. 18% of recruiters still view selfies as a negative.

Your public social media profiles and activity are becoming an extension of your resume. We’re not all the way there yet, but we’re quickly moving in that direction. Whatever you post on social media, you run the risk that a recruiter will think that’s the real you.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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Use Social Media To Highlight Soft Skills

An article in the Wall Street Journal today outlines a dilemma employers are facing in today’s changed work environment: it’s tough to find new employees with the appropriate soft skills.

“Companies across the U.S. say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find applicants who can communicate clearly, take initiative, problem-solve and get along with co-workers.

While such skills have always appealed to employers, decades-long shifts in the economy have made them especially crucial now. Companies have automated or outsourced many routine tasks, and the jobs that remain often require workers to take on broader responsibilities that demand critical thinking, empathy or other abilities that computers can’t easily simulate.”

The article cites a Wall Street Journal survey of 900 executives, which found that 92% felt that soft sills are as important as or more important than technical skills.

The article also cites a survey from 2015 performed by LinkedIn, which attempted to identify which soft skills are most in demand, and therefore most likely to land candidates a job. The list of traits, in resumeorder, was:

  • Ability to communicate
  • Organization
  • Capacity for teamwork
  • Punctuality
  • Critical thinking
  • Social savvy
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability

We don’t think that people possessing these traits don’t exist; if companies can’t find them, we put the blame on the recruiting process as it now stands. From what we’ve seen, if 100 candidates apply for a job opening, the standard procedure is that those 100 resumes are uploaded into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and an algorithm identifies the 3 or 4 best candidates based on objective criteria programmed into the ATS before the search began. The initial resume-screening phase looks for technical skills and experience – it does not attempt to consider soft skills, and therefore isn’t optimized to find candidates who possess them.

We think the system is going to change, and young employees without a robust job history or deep technical skills could be the biggest beneficiaries. Here’s how.

A CareerBuilder survey earlier this your found that 60% of employers admit to using social media to vet candidates at some point during the recruitment process (we think the real number is higher). If a company is not interviewing/hiring candidates with strong soft skills, it’s probably because the resumes making it through the ATS to the interview stage have strong technical skills, but lack those soft skills.

Looking at candidates’ public social media can be a great way to identify candidates who do possess some of those soft skills, and the opposite. Ability to communicate clearly, attention to detail, social savvy and showing good judgment can all be evaluated for a candidate who is active online, and most candidates are.

This is good news for job seekers with strong soft skills. By sharpening your social media game, you can make yourself more hirable in an era where who you are online is likely to become an increasingly important consideration for hiring managers.

Some experts view social media as primarily a liability for job seekers, and caution candidates to keep the excessive partying, foul language and questionable commentary off of social media. That is a good idea, but we may be entering an era where clean, well thought out social media profiles can be an important asset.

Note to employers: If you’re looking for help making social media vetting a bigger part of your hiring process, ThirdPro can help. To find out how we can help your company, contact us today.

 

 

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

New Stats On Employers Doing Social Media Screening

There are lots of statistics out there about whether and to what extent employers are using social media as a screening tool for potential new hires. We’ve written about some of them before. Based on what we’ve read, and our decades of experience in the workplace, we believe that most statistics are understated.

What is more likely being captured is the number of recruiters who admit that they’re doing it. Speaking for myself, I rarely do a meeting with a new business associate without Googling him. If one of the first search results is his Facebook or LinkedIn profile, I’ll look. That goes double for someone I’m interviewing.

CareerBuilder LogoNew data out of CareerBuilder’s annual Social Media Recruiting survey make a couple of things abundantly clear:

  • The number of recruiters who use social media as a vetting tool is rising rapidly. 60% confirm that they are doing it this year vs. 52% last year and 11% 10 years ago.
  • They aren’t just looking out of curiosity. 21% admit that they are looking for something that will disqualify a candidate, and 49% of those who do check have disqualified a candidate because of something they found.

According to the survey, one tactic that candidates have been employing – deleting social media accounts or using a pseudonym – might be doing more harm that good. 41% of respondents said that they are less likely to offer a candidate an interview if they can’t find them online, up from 35% last year. Candidates are much better off having, in our opinion, a professional LinkedIn profile and at least one clean, public social media profile. Either Facebook or Twitter works fine; Instagram is more problematic because the search function is more difficult to use.

The most frequently found negatives, in order:

  1. Inappropriate pictures, video or text posts
  2. Evidence of alcohol or drug use
  3. Hate speech related to race, religion or gender
  4. Negative comments about prior employer or coworkers
  5. Poor communication skills

The news isn’t all bad for job seekers. The most frequent positives, in order:

  1. Online information supported candidate’s job qualifications
  2. Online conduct was professional
  3. Personality appeared to be a good fit with company culture
  4. Candidate appeared to be well rounded
  5. Positive communication skills

A final note to successful hires: once you land the job, your public social media life can still be scrutinized. 41% of companies responding to the survey say they use social media to keep track of current employees, and 26% of them had fired or reprimanded employees for inappropriate online activity.

 

 

The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Young Job Seekers Beware – Employers More Active on Social Media

The Society for Human Resource Management released the details of a survey earlier this year that point squarely to the fact that job seekers’ social media profiles are becoming a more important part of the applicant recruiting and screening process.

The study, which was completed in December of last year, surveyed 410 human resource professionals to get their views on the role of social media in their core job functions.

employers-social-mediaHow are the moves to mobile communication and social media playing out?

  • 84% of organizations are using social media to enhance recruiting and a further 9% are planning to do so
  • 66% of companies are targeting mobile users
  • 43% of companies admit to using search or social media to screen potential employees (we think the actual number is higher)
  • 44% of HR pros believe that public social media profiles can help in evaluating candidates
  • 36% of organizations have disqualified a candidate based on social media posts

reasons screen candidates social mediaWhy do employers screen candidates using social media?

  • Ability to learn information not on the resume (61%)
  • Ability to verify resume or application information (50%)
  • Candidate includes social media handles on application (41%)
  • Efficient use of time (34%)
  • Ability to assess prior work performance or potential (27%)

It makes sense. As companies are spending more time finding candidates via social media, they will use that social media connection to try to find out more about candidates.

We’re not just talking about seasoned candidates who are workplace veterans here. According to the survey, 34% of hourly workers are screened using social media. We believe that HR staffers are using search and social media to a very wide extent in recruiting, especially the younger digital natives who have had Google and Facebook as a fixture throughout their careers.

As a young, would-be new hire, you don’t want to be disqualified from any job because of something you’ve posted on social media. Things to keep in mind:

  • All posts are permanent. Even if you have deleted something, someone else might have shared it
  • Info posted to a private social media account can be shared by one of your friends, making it public
  • There may be social media accounts that you aren’t using or have forgotten about
  • That post may have been a joke at the time but it could make a recruiter have serious doubts about your character
  • Turn it around – social media is yet another way to make yourself look like a great candidate

As personal social media continues to extend its overlap into the work world, it pays to make sure your social media profiles are not a career impediment. If you need someone to take a second look, the ThirdParent/ThirdPro initial audit is FREE for a limited time (previously a $49 value). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

What Employers Are Looking For Online

All right college students – and high school students – if you haven’t done so already, it is high time you thought about how your digital footprint might impact your job search when the time comes.

Of course you know some of the basics. Every Instagram pic you post shouldn’t be you holding a beer can or a bong. Actually, none of them should include a bong. Good grammar and spelling are far better than your posts looking like a sloppy mess. Cyberbullying, racist and homophobic comments are a no no, even in jest.

With the help of a recent Workopolis survey of employers, we though we’d look a little deeper at where employers are looking online to check you out, what they’re looking for and why. The survey polled over 300 Canadian employers, with 63% of them reporting that they look candidates up online and on social media at some point during the hiring process. Where are they looking?interview

  • LinkedIn 91%
  • Facebook 75%
  • Twitter 28%
  • Instagram 16%
  • Tumblr 3%

According to Workopolis, Twitter was the fastest growing network over last year’s results. Jobs seekers should be aware of that, as well as the fact that Instagram and Tumblr are on the list. We see all too often that young people act as though their Twitter and Instagram accounts are private, even when they aren’t.

In terms of what employers are looking for, the answer pretty simply boils down to the fact that they want to get a better idea of who the candidate really is, i.e. what are the risks or positive side effects of having this candidate join our team. To wit:

“We here at Workopolis once declined to interview an applicant whose Facebook profile picture was of him holding a beer high over his head wearing only a baseball cap and a sock. (Not on his foot.) The thing is, I don’t really care if you want to get a little crazy and pull a Blink 182 in your backyard with your friends on the weekend. That’s not really any of my business…I do care that you don’t have the common sense not to put a photograph of it online and make it your public profile picture – especially while applying for jobs. If you display such poor judgment representing yourself, how much will you show when representing my brand?”

According to the survey, 48% of hiring managers had seen something online that made their opinion of a candidate more negative, while 38% had seen something online that swayed them in a more positive direction. That means that there is a 26% greater chance that your online profile does more harm than good. The odds may seem to be against you.

Does that mean that you should stay offline entirely, or be completely anonymous online? Not at all. Employers in the survey offered that they see it as a red flag if they can’t find any trace of a candidate online. Is she hiding something?

Even if your online profile is a terrible mess, it isn’t impossible to clean it up. After all, in an article in this week’s U.S. News and World Report titled College Seniors: Do these 11 things to graduate with a job, 3 of the 11 relate to your online profiles and image. This is the new normal.

You can clean up your act and put a more positive spin on things. If you need help, we can get you where you need to be.

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.