Survey Results: Three-in-four employers in Singapore snoop on job candidates online, JobsCentral’s Survey finds

By Jonathan Tay

Jobseekers, mind your netiquette. Your future boss could be watching your online deeds. According to an online study by JobsCentral, at least three-in-four employers (75.1 per cent) would do online researches on potential job candidates. Social media sites, mainly LinkedIn (38.4 per cent) and Facebook (34.3 per cent), are the most commonly used channels by snooping employers.

The online study was conducted from August to September 2012, among 396 hiring managers and HR personnels.

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Apart from social media platforms, 27.5 per cent of employers have also acknowledged using search engines to look up on the names of prospective employees. A minority would probe into a candidate’s personal blog (7.1 per cent) and twitter (6.6 per cent), as well.

Online researches are mostly to verify candidate’s credibility

Online researches are mostly conducted to ascertain credibility of the information provided by job candidates. More than three out of five employers (63.9 per cent) have reported that they would reject an application if they discover that a job candidate was not truthful. On the flip side, only 14.4 per cent are concerned about an unprofessional screen or nick name. Reasons for not hiring a prospective employee after checking his/her social media activities would include:
• Evidence that candidate lied on resume/ during interview – 63.9 per cent
• Candidate shared confidential information about previous employers – 57.6 per cent
• Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 57.3 per cent
• Candidate appeared to discriminate against a certain race, gender or religion – 43.4 per cent
• Candidate was linked to criminal behavior – 42.7 per cent
• Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs – 41.9 per cent
• Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 37.4 per cent
• Candidate had poor communication skills – 33.3 per cent
• Candidate's screen/nickname was unprofessional – 14.4 per cent

Most employers don’t spend more than a minute screening resumes

A majority of employers (62.1 per cent) do not spend more than 1 minute reviewing a job application. In fact, only 4.8 per cent say that they would need more than 5 minutes screening an application.

Resume mistakes to avoid

When asked about their greatest peeve when reviewing a resume, employers say that they are most riled up by job applications with:
• Job experience that does not match the job applied for – 68.9 per cent
• Insufficient information and gaps – 49 per cent
• Unreasonable salary demand – 39.4 per cent
• Irrelevant information – 34.8 per cent
• Poor language – 33.3 per cent
• Resumes that are too long – 26.3 per cent
• Bad and unprofessional photograph – 22.2 per cent
• Fanciful fonts and style – 18.4 per cent
• Not providing references – 4.3 per cent

Majority of employers would usually leave room for candidates to negotiate pay

90.4 per cent of employers reported that they would typically leave room for candidates to negotiate their salary. To negotiate a better starting salary, employers have the following advices for job candidates:
• Highlight specific accomplishments and results you have achieved for previous employers – 79.3 per cent
• Know the average salary for your position in your geographic area through more than one source of info – 51.5 per cent
• Have strong references that back up your value to the team – 47.7 per cent
• Show an offer from another employer – 16.9 per cent

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