What Employers Look Up on Social Media Sites

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:

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What Employers Look Up Currently look at Plan to
Previous work history 46% 15%
Education 46% 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 activities 21% 15%
Comments/links posted by candidate 21% 15%
Group affiliations (e.g., community or religious groups) 21% 11%
Pictures 15% 8%
Comments/links posted by candidate’s friend 10% 11%