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Will You Turn down a Job Offer because of the Company’s Strict Social Media Policy?

It is no doubt that more employers are using social media in recruiting and screening job candidates. As a job candidate, however, will you turn down an offer if the company does not allow you to use social media at work?

This CNN News video reports some very interesting statistics. According to a survey of 300 job recruiters:

  • 91% employers use social media in screening job candidates; 9% do not.
  • When screening job candidates on social media, 76% use Facebook, 53% use Twitter, and 48% use LinkedIn.
  • 69% had rejected a candidate based on the “negative information” they found online about the candidate; 26% never rejected anyone; 5% do not use social media in screening at all.
  • The top “negative information” includes lying about a candidate’s qualifications and the inappropriate contents posted on social media sites.
  • 68% had hired someone because of the “positive information” they found about the candidate on social media sites.
  • “Positive information” is helpful in portraying a candidate’s positive personality, true qualifications/credentials, and creativities.

Another interesting study by Cisco with 3,000 participants who are between 18 and 30 years old reveals that: (a) 2/3 of job candidates will ask about employers’ social media policy in job interviews and (b) 56% will actually turn down a job offer if the company bans social media.

These studies support my advocates of managing people’s persona on social media as well as the needs for companies to develop a good social media policy 

So, how important does social media mean to you during the time when you are looking for a job and later when you are making a decision among multiple offers?  

For more discussions of using social media in job search, please check out the following discussion:
More Employers Are Using Social Media in Screening Job Candidates
Privacy vs. Efficacy: Which One Would You Choose? (Using Facebook in Job Search)
One Has No Choice But to Manage His/Her Online Image
Background Check on Social Media: Now Is a Serious Business
Using Facebook for Background Check
Social Media and Job Search I

Personal Brand and Social Media
Managing Your Online Reputation
Ways to Clean Up a Person’s Negative Online Reputation


  1. Want to read more about the study conducted by Cisco? Please visit the following report by Cisco:

  2. There is no arguing that social media is very important in today's world but the extent to which importance is placed on it varies from situation to situations and from company to company. Just as the video had said, 69% rejected a person based on their online presence, but just as many, at 68% had hired a person based on their online presence.

    It's expected that people do not post pictures or comments that are highly controversial, or illegal on Facebook when knowingly applying for jobs. The internet is in no way private and that will not, can not, and should not change. There are always options of trying to make your Facebook account as private as possible by screening who sees what, but many companies are likely to have apps or software that enables them to see what your profile would otherwise look like.

    Simply changing your last name on your account as friends view it does not assure employers will not find you. Be smart about it. The same way, in my opinion it's pretty stupid to turn down an otherwise good job because the company has decided to implement a policy banning Facebook or other social media sites on their company computers or while at work. That's 8 hours of your day on average which still leaves another 16 to roam around on social media for.

    I will say however that if a company were to be so bold as to say that an employee were not allowed to have a social media account at all, that would be pushing it and I too would likely turn down the job opportunity. In my opinion that is unreasonable for a company to expect an employee not to have a personal social media account if they so wish. It is somewhat reasonable to ban information regarding the company or group or even conversation of said company but like I had mentioned before, the internet is not private and that won't change soon. It's a venue in which people can freely express themselves as they are legally entitled to do so without the harm of others.

    It's all a bit controversial and highly unknown because the HR policies in the workplace, and the constitutional law haven't quite caught up with the information technology world we live in today.

    -Brinda Sankrith-

  3. It is very clear that social media resources play a huge role in our world today. Not only do job seekers use social media sites to find companies they are interested in working for, but these companies are also out on the networks looking at their possible future employees.

    In this day in age, it should not be surprising that employers have the ability to and are looking at the social media usage of their candidates for employment. When posting on the internet in any for, like this blog for example, users must be aware that they are putting that out their for the world to see. Every time something is added onto the internet, one should stop and consider if it is something they wish for millions of others to have access to. While many social media sites are creating privacy settings and precautions, I do not think it is the best decision for users to rely on these. Instead, users should make educated decisions on what they are posting, regardless of who the may or may not have blocked from seeing it.

    It seems unbelievable to me that employees are turning down employment based on companies social media policies. In the current economy, many are struggling to get and maintain jobs. I do not think it is of anyone's best interest to turn down a job based upon what they can and cannot do on their favorite internet sites. I do not feel as though social media, unless used to promote or market the company, has any place in the work place. Employees should be concerned with their jobs, not with who is updating their status or muploading pictures.

    --Krissie Oja

  4. Social media these days plays a large role in our society these days. We live in a society where the world is all about technology from smart phones to people owning their own personal lap tops.

    Mostly all people especially at the age of 18 to the 30 years it is hard not to use social media when looking for a job. Since, people who use social media use it to keep their friends updated with their daily lives from statues updates to pictures and to writing on each others wall. People learned to keep their Facebook private by customiing how much can be seen to the public to being able to be searched by name on Facebook. But how much is hidden from others researching about you online. Also, Twitter is for peoples on personal use on emotional feelings from happy to sad tweets.

    I think Facebook and Twitter should not be used as spying mechanisms from company recruiters because it is invading ones personal space. In the past Social Media tools were not used to research on people to see any positive or negative information. It also depends the degree of what "negative information" means to them. If it is barely anything and they do not hire them because of a barely negative information it is not fair. Also, if the inappropriate contents such as pictures to what degree? What if the recruiter is against gays and decided not to hire him or give him an opportunity on a interview because of his profile picture. Basing a person's personal marital status is discrimination.

    I think researching people on Linkedin it is perfectly fine because it is a search engine used for researching on persons background.

  5. Social media is a vital part of our world today. As a young adult I will admit that we are always "plugged in". We have social media on our laptops and phones. We use multiple social media sites at once and are constantly staying up to date on our friends, family, and the world around us. I do not agree with the idea of a company banning social media from an employee, but I don't have any problem with the company using the social media site, such as Facebook, to view a potential employee. We create our facebooks and we control what we put on facebook. By creating a social media account we are putting a large part of our personal life out into the public. I see no problem with a company looking at public content that a person consciously put onto the internet. We, as a working generation, have to be careful about what we share and how we are depicted on those sites. That is our responsibility. Social media is too large a part of the world we live in to ban altogether, but can be a useful resource in determining the way a potential employee is portraying him/herself.


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