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Job Applicants Dislike Companies That Screen Social Media Accounts

Employers like using social media to screen job applicants, but job applicants are less likely to like the companies that do.

The 2012 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey finds a whopping 92% of employers are using social media for recruiting purposes. That's a lot of self-involved tweets and puffed-up LinkedIn pages to read, but nearly three-fourths of employers (73%) report that they generally find someone to hire once they wade through all of the hashtags, misspellings and narcissistic musings.

Does the job candidate still want the company, though? Now this is where things get interesting, because a new study says that job applicants are less likely to want the job if they find out that their social media pages have been retroactively reviewed more closely than Mitt Romney's outsourcing record and tenure at Bain Capital.

Oh, my bleeding ears. In the study, 175 students applied for a fake temporary job that they thought was real and lo and behold, many of the students didn't want the fake job anymore after being informed that their social media accounts had been fake-screened during the fake application process.

But that's not all. The "applicants" also perceived the "employer" as unfair and sort of skeezy-weezy, not to mention a potential fiber-optical pain in the ass should they work there. Is this company going to monitor how many eyelashes I have, too!? Then again, Mr. or Ms. Student keeps throwing stuff online with the expectation that it's all private -- hahahahahahahahahahahaha! -- so for employers it's all there in 37-B of the photostatic copy, black and white, clear as crystal, good day, you get nothing, you lose. Checking one's Facebook "privacy" settings should be a once-a-week ritual, right up there with buying milk, deep conditioning one's hair, and exercising.

Of course, we might not want to bat an eye here, since we're talking about -- gasp! -- students, who, in general, aren't as willing to take a job, any job, in our house-of-cards economy in order to cover an underwater mortgage, a high monthly SUV payment, soccer lessons and cold cereal. Is it just me, or is cold cereal ridiculously expensive for what you get these days? $4.50 for a tiny box? Get real!

Then again, there could be a lot of employed-for-reals adults out there who have been social media screened to within an inch of their work lives by 92% of companies but took the job anyway because they had to, but now they fundamentally don't trust the employer in part because they know that their social media accounts were inspected with a fine-toothed comb and might still be getting brushed every so often as they astroturf on the employer's behalf. Yeah, let's see that study, because employers' utilization of social media is still a work in progress.

So what does it all mean for now? Employers: you have a treasure trove of information at your fingertips thanks to social media, but the best talent (e.g., the people who have options, yes a few still exist) might just slip through your fingertips and you could end up creating some underlying trust issues with your workforce. Job applicants: let information simmer in your head for a day before releasing it through your fingertips. Pretty please? It's never too late to start not posting everything that enters your mind this hour. It can be done -- really! -- and your friends and followers will thank you. Liked the drunken Cabo photos, though.


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