Background checking is about going down paper trails a person has left behind. The trouble is that more and more of it isn’t on paper; it’s online. Recruitment consulting firm CareerBuilder found in a recent study that in the pre-hire world, the number of companies checking on job candidates’ social-media personas grew from 52% in 2015 to 60% in 2016 (and increased 500% from 2006). The consensus view on the job scene is that a company’s discovery of a candidate’s inappropriate photos, weed smoking or trashing of ex-employers can discourage making a job offer. But 32% of the time, checks of social networks helped lead to a decision to hire, because the applicants “conveyed a professional image” or “had great communication skills,” according to the survey of 2,186 hiring and human resource managers.
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