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Recruiters say no to job applicants with poor Internet reputations

Views 11 Views    Comments 1 Comments    Share Share    Posted 06-11-2008  
· One in five employers find information about candidates on the web and 59% say it influences their recruitment decision

· A quarter of HR decision makers reject candidates based on personal information found online

· People are unaware that their “NetRep” may affect their chances of employment

A growing number of UK employers are judging job applicants on their Internet reputations, according to a research report released today by the business social network Viadeo. The survey of more than 2,000 consumers and over 600 employers found that one in five employers have searched for and found personal information about candidates on the web and 59% say it influenced their recruitment decision. A quarter of HR decision makers have actually rejected applicants, based on dubious personal information found online.

Employers gave a variety of reasons for discarding candidates based on their Internet reputation, or “NetRep”, including:

· “His MySpace website showed a negative side to him including excessive alcohol abuse and disrespect for his job”

· “We found that the candidate was on the local police wanted list”

· “We found that the candidate was personally into some activities which did not fit ethically into my company”

Online footprints
The report highlights a growing trend: people are leaving significant footprints of personal information across the Internet as they use a new generation of web sites and services, such as free blogging tools, wikis and social networks. The research revealed that even when all age groups were questioned (including older people less likely to be regular internet users) 31% have posted information online. This was despite the fact most of the “Web 2.0” services allowing people to easily post online were only launched in the last few years.

The largest number of respondents placing information online are 18-24 year olds - just under half say they have posted personal information on social websites such as MySpace or Facebook and 17% have also posted material on YouTube. More worrying, 54% of people between 18 and 24 say someone else had posted pictures of them online with or without their permission.

Managing the NetRep
The research showed that information found online can also work positively for job applicants, if the content is appropriate and presented in the right way. 13% of HR decision makers have been affected positively by information found online about a candidate, and would not have taken the decision to recruit them otherwise. Examples of positive findings included:

· “Found achievements that I might not have known about otherwise”
· “Showed internet skills through his own website”
· “Found out that the candidate had more to offer than she was revealing with an inadequately designed corporate application form”

The research suggested that individuals are failing to manage their Net-Rep effectively, with just 9% of people actually using a business social networking site to promote a professional image of themselves on the Internet.

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Meenakshi 03-12-2008
Good tool for knowing more about candidates

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