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Survey: 32% of retailers use social networks to research job candidates

Chicago -- Survey results released Thursday by WorkInRetail.com found that about one-third (32%) of retail hiring managers use social networking sites to research job candidates.

The new survey from WorkInRetail.com – CareerBuilder’s job site for retail professionals, found that of the retail employers who do not research candidates on social media, 16% said their company prohibits the practice. Nine percent report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.

With regard to what they are looking for, retailers said they are using social media to evaluate candidates’ character and personality outside the confines of the traditional interview process. When asked why they use social networks to conduct background research, hiring managers stated the following:

  • To see if the candidate presents himself/herself professionally: 57%
  • See if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture: 39%
  • Learn more about the candidate’s qualifications: 36%
  • To see if the candidate is well-rounded: 29%
  • Looking for reasons not to hire the candidate: 11%

“Retailers, for the most part, are able to get a sense of a job candidate’s personality through in-person interviews,” said Bill Meidell, director of WorkInRetail.com. “However, a significant number of employers are using social media to get an unfiltered look at their personality.”

Twenty-nine percent of retail hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate. That content ranges from evidence of inappropriate behavior to information that contradicted their listed qualifications.

Employers are primarily using Facebook (64%) and LinkedIn (34%) to research candidates; 11% use Twitter.

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