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What Employers Look Up on Social Media Sites

Apr 13, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Mostly what HR professionals are looking up online is pretty standard information about candidates, like LinkedIn recommendations. Fewer — but still quite a few — are trying to find out more controversial stuff, such as photos or what groups on Facebook a job candidate belongs to.

That’s the upshot of a SHLPreVisor study of more than 460 human resources professionals. The majority (53%) were in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with 39% in the Americas and 8% in Australasia. Here’s a chart showing what’s being searched:

What Employers Look UpCurrently look atPlan to
Previous work history46%15%
Education46%14%
Recommendations from others (e.g., on LinkedIn)33%19%
Other candidate information (e.g., hobbies, interests)24%16%
Candidate’s stated interests, “Likes”, current activities21%15%
Comments/links posted by candidate21%15%
Group affiliations (e.g., community or religious groups)21%11%
Pictures15%8%
Comments/links posted by candidate’s friend10%11%
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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