You are what you Tweet: Why recruitment now peers into your social media history


Once again, the pitfalls of using social media rears it’s head and someone pays the price.

This time it’s not an internal department falling asleep at the wheel a la Burger King when it was hacked but something a little more worrying. Paris Brown is Britain’s first youth police and crime commissioner, a position she secured at the tender age of 17 and has yet to assume the role. However it’s a bunch of tweets made a couple of years ago that have come back to haunt her, tweets made that boasted about her sex life, drug taking and
drinking on her account @vilulabelle (now since taken down).

A sign of the times

But this isn’t anything new and is just a sign of the times. Apart from the public nature of the role Ms Brown has assumed, what it highlights is that there is a growing trend and need for background checks to take into account your social media activity and comments you’ve posted whether in jest or serious will come back to bite you. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is hidden.

You are what you tweet

Only recently did Reppler conduct a study (see the Infographic below) on just how widely used social media screening during the application stages of recruitment have fast become. Of those they surveyed:

  • Over 90% of recruiters are screening candidates through or using social media
  • 47% of employers look at social media profiles
  • 69% rejected a candidate based on their social media activity
  • Facebook and Twitter are being used to screen candidates at a very early stage of the process for personality profiling

Social profiling is the norm

Recruitment and Human Resources are using social media in deeper ways than before. It’s given rise to third party agencies who perform these background checks as a speciality.

So while we often joke about the Facebook after party photos making the public domain, anything you post is now being taken into account.


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