Minimal results are measured from the overall sample population of 24 subjects because over half of the hiring managers (54.2%) have never web-checked a candidate as part of their hiring process. An overwhelming majority (70.8%) of subjects would allow candidates to explain any discrepancies if the results of their online reputation were negative. None of the hiring managers have ever terminated an employee as a result from their online content/information. While less than half of hiring managers would prefer their candidate’s social network profile be set to “private” (37.5%), over half were not sure (54.2%). Almost one-third of the subjects have used an Internet based website/service to post a job (70.8%). When asked which source worked or resulted in a successful match with an employee, over half (62.5%) responded with “referrals (colleagues/alumni).” The only social networking site that resulted in a successful match with an employee was “LinkedIn” (4.2%). Other online Web 2.0 tools that were used to initially contact an company/organization include “Online Job Boards or websites (Monster.com, Hotjobs.com, Craig’s List)” (29.2%) and “Applying directly to company site” (41.7%).
Results are also measured from the subject set of respondents (11) to answered “Yes” to whether or not they web-check candidates. Out of the all the respondents who web-check candidates, none has ever explained to a candidate that web-checking may be included in part of the vetting process. The response to which source resulted in a successful match with an employee was also overwhelmingly “referrals (colleagues/alumni)” (72.7%), nearly 10 percent greater than that for the total sample population. The only social networking site that resulted in a successful match with employee was “LinkedIn” (9.1%). More participants answered “yes” to whether they have used an Internet based website/service to post a job (81.8%), a 10.3% increase compared to the entire sample population (70.8%). There is an almost ten percent decrease in the number of subjects that would allow candidates to explain any discrepancies if the results of their online reputation were negative (63.6%). When asked if they preferred a candidates’ social website profile be set to “private” almost half (45.5%) answered “Yes,” an eight percent increase compared to the total sample population. All the other subjects but one responded “Not Sure” (45.5%).
Among the Internet sites that hiring managers checked during the vetting process, the most visited site is Facebook with four subjects checking candidates’ profiles (36.4%). Other significant Internet Websites that were checked during the vetting process include: Myspace (27.3%); Google (27.3%); Personal Website (27.3%); LinkedIn (18.2%); Other Business Related Social Networking Sites (Spoke, Ryze) (18.2%).
Figure 1. Internet sites checked during the vetting process.
The most important posted material that would screen-out a potential employee is if a “candidate lied about qualifications/work experience.” Other posted material that would considered as grounds for dismissal include: “Candidate was linked to criminal behavior” (90.9%); “Disclosing confidential work information” (81.8%); “Candidate posted discriminatory remarks related to race, gender, religion, ECT” (81.8%), “Drug related postings/pictures” (72.7%); “Candidate posted inappropriate or provocative information/pictures” (63.6%).
Figure 2. Posted material that would screen-out a potential employee.
The most important posted content that would screen-in a potential employee would be that the “Candidate seemed like a good fit with the culture of the company.” Other posted material that would have a significantly positive impact on the hiring process includes: “Candidate’s information matched resume” (63.6%); “Candidate had great communication skills” (54.5%); “Candidate’s site conveyed a professional image” (54.5%). Using a 4-point scale (1=Very Likely, 2=Somewhat Likely, 3=Somewhat Unlikely, 4=Very Unlikely) when asked how likely positive/negative results of a candidate’s internet reputation factor into the hiring process, both positive and negative internet reputations would have either a “Very Likely” to “Somewhat Likely” impact on the hiring process according to the majority of subjects (81.8%).
Figure 3. Posted material that would screen-in a potential employee.
The key hypothesis seeks to describe why subjects from differing economic sectors web-check candidates. Nearly one-third of subjects answer “to screen-out & screen in potential candidates” (72.7%).
Figure 4. Reason for web-checking candidates
Two subjects respond “to screen-out potential candidates” and one subject responds “to screen-in potential candidates.” The economic sectors that only “screen-out potential candidates” are “Management & Consulting” (9.1%) and “Customer Care” (9.1%). The economic sector that only “screens-in potential candidates” is Education (9.1%). Out of the eight subjects whose response was “to screen-out & screen-in potential candidates,” approximately three-quarters of the subjects were from the economic sector “Education” (75%). The other two economic sectors that both “screen-out & screen-in” are “Customer Care” (12.5%) and “News Media” (12.5%).