One in five tech firms has rejected a job applicant because of social media profile

Almost one in five technology industry executives say that a candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that person. This is revealed in the 2012 annual technology market survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide (http://www.eurocompr.com) the Global PR Network, in association with UK PR agency partner, Six Degrees (http://www.sixdegreespr.com).

The annual Eurocom Worldwide study has previously found that almost 40 per cent of respondents’ companies check out potential employees’ profiles on social media sites, but this is the first evidence that candidates are actually being rejected because of them.

“The 21st century human is learning that every action leaves an indelible digital trail. In the years ahead many of us will be challenged by what we are making public in various social forums today. The fact that one in five applicants disqualify themselves from an interview because of content in the social media sphere is a warning to job seekers and a true indicator of the digital reality we now live in,” said Mads Christensen, Network Director at Eurocom Worldwide.

The Eurocom Worldwide survey this year also reveals that while nearly half (49 per cent) of technology executives say that their firm will increase their expenditure on social media in the next 12 months, over half (57 per cent) say they are unable to accurately measure the impact of the investment. By contrast, only 23 per cent say they can measure it.

The survey finds that 74 per cent of respondents consider online PR to be very or quite important for their company’s search engine optimisation (SEO) with 37 per cent saying it is very important.

“The significant role of online PR in search engine optimisation is often underrated but clearly not by technology firms,” commented Amanda Hassall, Director at Six Degrees.

Social media content

Respondents to the survey were also asked about the primary source of social media content and messaging for their company. The majority (78 per cent) cite in-house sources with PR agencies the second most important source at 12 per cent. Digital marketing agencies and advertising agencies combined account for the remaining 10 per cent.

Of those respondents who work in companies that publish a blog, 57 per cent say that it is done in order to raise profile or create thought leadership. Nearly as many (55 per cent) state that the blogging aims to improve interaction with customers, while 37 per cent say the aim is to boost SEO and 36 per cent say it is to participate in industry debates. According to the responses, the main reason for not blogging is that it is ‘too time consuming’ cited by 42 per cent of those who don’t blog. One in five doesn’t see the value of it while 14 per cent fear a negative response.

The most popular social media platform for technology companies is:

• LinkedIn (74 per cent)
• Twitter – 67 per cent of technology firms tweet
• 64 per cent have a Facebook presence
• 56 per cent are on YouTube.

Only half of respondents surveyed say that their company has a formal process for listening to what is said about them in social media.

The Eurocom Worldwide technology confidence survey was conducted online by member agencies of Eurocom Worldwide during January and February 2012. A total of 318 responses were received with approximately 80 per cent from European countries and 11 per cent from the Americas.

One in five tech firms has rejected a job applicant because of social media profile 1

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