The Hiring Process: Do your social media accounts help or hinder?

By: Brittany Garguilo and Sarah Kirkup

Keep it clean. That is what Stony Brook University sophomore learned after she found out that her past employers at Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai, New York, checked her social media accounts before hiring her.

“I was worried because I didn’t know what they could see,” Lynch said.  “I don’t have anything bad on it, but just based on them forming an opinion on me before they actually met me.”

According to an online job recruitment software company, Jobvite, that released results from their annual national recruiter survey this September, Lynch’s case isn’t that uncommon, especially with the 20,200 more jobs that were created on Long Island over the past year, according to the New York State Labor Department.

Jobvite found that 92 percent of recruiters use social media in the hiring process and 33 percent recruiters have negative reactions when seeing that a potential candidate has a limited presence on social media.

“We need to know about any red flags before we even present a resume to our clients,” Amity Lucas, the founder the The Amity Agency, a headhunting company in Sag Harbour, New York said.

Lucas said that she uses a background check company called Sterling Infosystems to do a formal check before a candidate is hired with her clients. But that isn’t all.

“Scoping out their social media accounts can also provide a lot of information I’d like to know in advance. I advise students and job seekers to keep it classy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”

According to the Jobvite survey,  55 percent of recruiters use Facebook as a way to check a candidate’s information and 47 percent check Twitter.

And a different survey released from CareerBuilder, an online job site that connects employers and job-seekers, concluded that 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on these social media sites found content that aided their decision to not hire the candidate.

Rita Reagan-Redko, a professor and advisor in the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University, says that nowadays, social media plays a huge role in the hiring process.

“Any employer looking to hire someone will go online and try to find anything they can about that person,” Reagan-Redko said. “Unfortunately too many of the ‘millennial generation’ are putting too much of their business online.”

The survey done by Jobvite found that 54 percent of recruiters view post of alcohol as negative and 25 percent of employers think putting up pictures selfies on your profile hinder your social media presence during job recruitment.

“Depending on what an employer finds and the employer’s beliefs, you never know how much weight it [social media] will carry in the hiring process,” Reagan-Redko said. “I think it is always best to keep your personal life personal.”

About Sarah Kirkup 7 Articles
My name is Sarah Kirkup and I am a junior journalism major on the broadcast track at Stony Brook University. I also work at Dunkin Donuts and I am a dance teacher.