Study Reveals How Hiring Professionals Use Social Media Information, and How Job Applicants Can Improve Digital Footprint
SOMERVILLE, Mass., July 11, 2017 - Cornerstone Reputation, an educational company committed to helping students, athletes and professionals manage their digital footprints, today released findings from its first annual Cornerstone Professional Survey, which revealed that 85 percent of hiring professionals have performed online searches of applicants in 2015-2016, and 75 percent found something online that positively impacted their impression of a job candidate. The first-of-its-kind survey polled more than 250 business people across a diverse array of industries in the United States.
While hiring professionals have been using sites like LinkedIn to review a candidate’s resume, results of this survey affirm that they are beginning to use social media as a way to determine a candidate’s overall personal character. The study reveals that 62 percent of hiring professionals reported finding something online that negatively impacted their impression. 82 percent, however, indicated that they believe an applicant could gain an advantage over another applicant by having a strong and positive online presence, which demonstrates a potential advantage for candidates who go beyond “sanitizing” their online presence and actively build a positive online reputation.
“Never before has a survey provided such granular information on when, how, why, and specifically where employers search candidates online and how candidates can gain an advantage in the hiring process by controlling their online footprints,” said Carolynn Crabtree, cofounder of Cornerstone Reputation. “Our data lets students and individuals out of school see their online selves through the lens of interviewers. This trove of information allows us to help them take control of their search results, and be ready for that inevitable moment a key gatekeeper will search them online.”
The survey seeks to quantify the growing body of anecdotal evidence around the role of the Internet in the recruiting and hiring process. And it explores the wide range of views held by hiring professionals on the topic of using the Internet to gather additional information about applicants. These views are on a spectrum from viewing everything that’s discoverable online as fair game to solely utilizing LinkedIn for web-based research.
The study reveals that 84 percent of respondents think there is information on the Internet which could help them gain a more accurate sense of a candidate’s character, and 50 percent indicated that they search candidates online before ever initiating contact in the hiring process.
Other key findings of the survey include:
- The most popular social media platforms on which professional candidates are searched are LinkedIn (91 percent), Facebook (41 percent) and Twitter (23 percent)
- 75 percent of respondents have seen something online that has given them a positive impression of an applicant
- 62 percent of respondents have seen something online that has given them a negative impression of an applicant
- 90 percent of respondents use social networks (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) to contact potential employees
In addition to the 2016 Professional Survey report, Cornerstone Reputation conducts both an annual Undergraduate Admissions Survey, which takes the pulse of admissions officers at the top national universities and liberal arts colleges across the United States, and an annual College Athletics Survey, which polls coaches at hundreds of college and universities. The goal of both of these surveys is to provide insights into the use of social media as a college and athletics acceptance assessment tool.
About Cornerstone Reputation
Cornerstone Reputation is an educational company committed to empowering students, athletes and professionals through tools and knowledge that help them understand the impact of their online presence to ensure the time they spend online contributes to a positive reputation in today’s digitally interconnected world.
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To view the full 2016 Cornerstone Reputation Professional Survey Report: https://www.cornerstonereputation.com/2016-professional-survey.html
By Jennifer Schwartz