Most employers screening jobseekers on social media

Troy Shantz

That clever political rant you posted on Facebook could stop you from getting a job, a local employment expert says.

Seven in 10 hiring managers say assessing a social media profile is an effective way to screen for the job, a new Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals found.

What’s more, over half of managers say they have rejected job applicants because of what they found in their online posts.

“Remember, that even outside of work you represent your company,” said Bruce Hein, owner of the Sarnia Express office. “Inappropriate posts have caused employees to be disciplined by their employer, and even terminated.”

In the poll, 77% of hiring decision makers said job seekers should maintain a “work appropriate” social media presence.

That means toning down political rants and not posting racy or drunken images from last night’s party, Hein said.

“While social media is meant to be a fun place to connect with our family, friends, and community, a wise rule is not to post content you wouldn’t want your boss or coworkers to see.”

Most social media apps allow users to select who can and can’t see certain content.

“If you’re going to rant, rant to your private network,” he said. “If it’s at all controversial, don’t do it. It could come back to bite you.”

On the other hand, a professional social media presence can actually help jobseekers, he added. About a quarter of hiring managers say they likely wouldn’t hire someone who’s not on social media, the poll found.

“While it might be expected for a sales or marketing professional to have a LinkedIn profile, there is nothing wrong with choosing to stay off of social media,” Hein added. “If anything, employers might appreciate knowing that their new hire won’t be wasting time at work scrolling through their news feed.”