Social Media & Hiring: Fewer Employers, More Politicians, New Users

Vetting job candidates online, particularly with social-networking sites like Facebook, continues to be the hot topic in the world of employment law. I recently wrote about a new SHRM survey, which reports that fewer employers are checking Facebook before hiring employees. And now it seems that Congress is concerned about the potential effects of social-media background checks, reports Kashmir Hill at Forbes. Jon Hyman’s comments about this news from our Nation’s Capital mirror my own, so I’ll point you towards his blog instead of saying the same thing twice.

Instead, what I will point out as something new is Nielsen’s Social Media Report, recently released for Q3 2011. The report is full of interesting statistics regarding our use of social media. Here are just a few:

  • Americans spend more time on Facebook than on any other U.S. website.
  • Nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visit social networks and blogs
  • Close to 40% of social-media users access social-media content from their mobile phone.

What I also found particularly interesting was the information about who is using social media. According to the survey, females and visit more often than males. The highest concentration of visitors are those in the 18-34-years-old range. Asian/Pacific Islander was the Race/Ethnicity with the most users.

I will be interested to see whether these statistics have any effect on those who argue that social-media hiring efforts do or may have a discriminatory impact on candidates.

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