Study reveals that online information increasingly impact careers

On Privacy Day (28.01.2010) Microsoft revealed a study that shows that recruiters increasingly use information from the internet, blogs and social networks in their hiring processes. In particular, this research highlights that:

•   Companies have increasingly made online screening a formal requirement of the hiring process: 75 per cent of the companies in the USA, 48 per cent of UK companies and 21 per cent of German companies.

•   In all countries recruiters and HR professionals say they believe the use of online reputational information will significantly increase over the next five years: 84 per cent of the respondents in the USA, 67 per cent in the UK and 78 per cent in Germany.

•   Reputational information is already used by companies to reject candidates: 70 per cent of the companies in the USA, 41 per cent in the UK and 16 per cent in Germany.

•   Consumers underestimate the extent to which online reputation affect their professional life: 7 per cent of the consumers in the USA, 9 per cent of the consumers in the UK and 13 per cent of the consumers in Germany think that online data affected their job search. - This low figure stands in stark contacts to the actual use of online data - at least in the USA and UK.

Traditionally, recruiters have had clear legal restrictions on the types of information they can ask candidates. This research demonstrates, however, that by using online information recruiters are increasingly circumventing legal boundaries and anonymously collecting information that they would not be permitted to ask in an interview.

The survey was conducted in December 2009, using a sample of 1345 consumers and 1100 HR professionals.

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Source: Microsoft