Raise your hand if you aren't active on any social media channels. There are roughly 2.206 billion active social media users around the world, according to a survey by We Are Social. Out of the 3.175 billion active Internet users across the globe, 69% of them use social media on a regular basis. So I'm going to assume not many of you put your hands up when I asked the initial question.
Many people think they're invincible on social media. Despite locking down your privacy settings, you're never truly out of the limelight. Office Team ran a survey among HR professionals and discovered the top three mistakes employees need to refrain from.
We spoke with Brandi Britton, District President of Office Team, to gather a few more tips to add to your recruitment strategies.
Q: Why do hiring managers conduct Web searches of job candidates?
A: Employers are being especially cautious when hiring today because they can’t afford to make costly hiring mistakes. They're often performing online searches to learn more about candidates, including their interests, industry involvement, and how effective a person is at marketing themself.
They may also be looking for clues to a candidate’s character. Looking up candidates online definitely has some risks, and there are some issues about how information found on the Web is used. Information on the Internet isn’t always accurate, and it’s hard to be sure that what you find relates to that particular candidate and not someone with the same name.
Employers should work closely with their legal and HR departments when creating their policies for candidate screening.
Q: What type of information online would employees consider red flags?
1. Negative commentary, especially about a former employer, could be a major turnoff. On the other hand, postings that show industry enthusiasm and involvement could help influence an employer to hire someone.
2. Pictures that show a candidate in an unflattering light also may deter a hiring manager from extending an offer for an interview or job.
3. Another red flag is online information that is inconsistent with representations made on an applicant’s resume.
Q: What's the importance of managing your digital presence?
Because many employers are incorporating an online search into the candidate review process, it’s critical to learn how to manage electronic information about yourself and ensure that it presents a favorable, professional image of you.
Individuals should be constantly monitoring their digital reputations — not just when looking for work.
Q: What are some easy ways to keep your online image polished — even if you’re averse to social media?
Not everyone has the time or interest to be a social-networking king or queen. You can take baby steps and determine what social media approach works best for you. At the very least, type your name into popular search engines to see what information is already available about you.
Another initial step could be creating a LinkedIn profile that includes a professional photo, your work history, skills, and accomplishments. Consider connecting with coworkers or others you have established relationships with first.
When commenting on personal homepages, blogs, or social networking sites, remember not to say anything that you wouldn’t want your current or potential employers to see. It’s best if you can regularly update your profile and post useful advice or comment on articles on LinkedIn and industry forums. Establish goals and set reminders to keep on track for posting updates and expanding connections.