Today’s NY Times has an article about Social Intelligence, a year-old start-up that scrapes the Internet to provide employers with background checks on everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years. We have written about Social Intelligence in the past but what is particularly noteworthy about today’s article is the list of “negative information” Social Intelligence collects that could prevent a job candidate from getting an offer:
- Online evidence of racist remarks
- References to drugs
- Sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos
- Flagrant displays of weapons or bombs
- Clearly identifiable violent activity
- 12% of users have derogatory language on their Wall.
- The number rises to 17% for users under 35 years old.
- The number falls to 5% for users over 35 years old.
- Of those users who have derogatory language on their Wall, 38% have used such language themselves.
- Of those users who have derogatory language on their Wall, 81% have such language posted by a friend.
So what does this all mean? As we have said in the past, more and more employers are screening job candidates by checking out social networking sites. A recent survey by Jobvite indicated that 45% of hiring managers always search for candidate profiles. Some employers are doing the screening themselves and others are using services like Social Intelligence. This trend places the burden on individuals to monitor their online presence more closely, as inappropriate content on social networking sites, like Facebook, could damage their reputation and limit their chances of getting a job.