Survey: More Employers Use Facebook To Vet New Hires Than LinkedIn

Business meeting over coffee

Facebook may be the stickiest social network here in the U.S. — but LinkedIn is thought to be the default network for a “professional” profile and job history. So why are more employers using Facebook to do background checks on potential new hires than LinkedIn?

Almost 30 percent of hiring managers said they were using Facebook to research new hires, according to new survey data from CareerBuilder — edging out the 26 percent that said they were using LinkedIn.

That doesn’t surprise eMarketer Senior Analyst Debra Aho Williamson, who said that while LinkedIn was very good at being an “online resume,” it was also increasingly important for employers to see how a potential new hire would act outside of work. “Facebook is where people spend their personal time, and until the network finds a better way for people to segment what info outsiders can see, it’s all fair game for employers,” Williamson said.

That lends more credence to Facebook members’ requests for less complex, more transparent privacy controls — but also points to a potentially untapped revenue stream: if employers are using the network to check up on candidates, maybe they’d want to pay to post job listings on Facebook as well.

The CareerBuilder survey also shows how quickly social network searches have become an integral part of the recruitment process: overall, nearly half (45 percent) of survey respondents said they were checking new hires’ social media profiles, up from just 22 percent last year. (Which is likely why the company launched its own career-centric social net, BrightFuse.com, per SAI). CareerBuilder polled over 2,600 hiring managers in June for the data.

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