Company says most employers don't check your social media

7:05 AM, Apr 1, 2012   |    comments
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That's because, according to EmployeeScreenIQ, the practice isn't that common.

The company recently polled 650 Human Resources professionals to find out how often companies check social media during the hiring process.

NBC's Today Show reports the study found that 52 percent of respondents never consult social media sites as part of the pre-employment screening process. That means that while 48 percent of the HR professionals polled say they do check social media, only nine percent reported they always look at a candidate's profile.

However, the numbers have some applicants and employees changing their social media privacy settings.

According to a new survey by Jobvite, a company that specializes in social recruiting, 19 percent of workers have modified their privacy settings with employment in mind. That might be because many employees are looking for new jobs. According to Jobvite, 61 percent of respondents surveyed say they're either actively looking or would be open to interviewing for a new job.

Jobvite CEO Dan Finnigan was surprised by the number of jobseekers and told 9NEWS the poor economy over the last few years may be to blame.

"We're coming out of a really rough recession and during a rough recession we all know that people may hold on to a job that they don't like or don't enjoy out of fear that they wouldn't be able to find another one if they left. So there's this pent up need to move on and leave the current job that they don't like," Finnigan told 9NEWS.

However he says there is another reason so many employees are looking for new work.

"The second reason is a more long term trend that's been going on for a couple of decades and continues to accelerate. You know my father's generation years ago would on average hold four jobs in a career. Now if you're in college and you're graduating with a degree in any area of math or science you can be expected to have fourteen jobs in a career," Finnigan said. "And so people therefore think that they need to build their own career. They think they need to pick up, pack their bags and find another company that's going to provide the next set of experiences that they need to build their career."

Finnigan did offer advice to jobseekers in case they are ever confronted with a request for access to their social media accounts during a job interview.

"I think that the best way to handle that is you certainly need to keep your cool and not get upset. But I think keep it to the task at hand which is you're interviewing for a specific job. So my recommendation would be for anyone who experiences this is specifically ask, 'I'm here to talk about the open position that you have and I'd like to understand how that's relevant and pertinent to the job. I'd like to actually ask a few more questions about the job.' and get it back to that as opposed to their request," Finnigan said.

For more information or to see additional results from the Jobvite survey please visit

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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