Survey: Half of Employers Search Online for Information About Potential Hires



    TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - Making a good impression on the job hunt may
include managing your digital reputation. Half (50 per cent) of advertising
and marketing executives recently polled said they search online for
information about prospective hires at least some of the time. Among those,
14 per cent have decided not to hire someone based on their findings.
    The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing
service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a
project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes
250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives with advertising agencies and
125 from senior marketing executives with companies.
    Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "How frequently, if at
all, do you use Google or another search engine to learn additional
information about a prospective hire?" Their responses:

    
    Always....................................  19%
    Sometimes.................................  31%
    Rarely....................................  24%
    Never.....................................  24%
    Don't know................................   2%
                                               ----
                                               100%

    Those who do search online for information about prospective hires were
also asked, "Have you ever decided not to hire a candidate based on
information you found online?" Their responses:

    Yes.......................................  14%
    No........................................  84%
    Don't know................................   2%
                                               ----
                                               100%
    

    Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group, said that
professionals should keep all audiences in mind when posting information
online. "Search engines make it quick and easy to learn about people," he
said. "If there's something that you wouldn't want a potential employer to
know about you, don't post that information in a public forum."
    According to Willmer, some hiring managers search online to gain a better
sense of a candidate's industry involvement and interests. "Employers aren't
just looking for red flags," he said. "They're also seeking evidence that a
potential staff member is invested in the profession, perhaps through
participation in trade groups, or industry blogs or message boards."
    Willmer provided the following tips for creating an impressive "digital
footprint":

    
    -   Stack the deck in your favour. Websites such as ZoomInfo.com allow
        users to post information about themselves, so consider including
        details about your professional involvement and qualifications on
        these types of forums.

    -   Make the most of social networking sites. Sites such as LinkedIn.com
        are good venues for learning about job openings and making new
        contacts. But be selective in who you allow into your network.
        Potential employers who have access to your contact list may ask
        these professionals for referrals.

    -   Share your insights. Posting your comments on industry forums or
        authoring online articles in your area of expertise is a smart way to
        reinforce your professional reputation.

    -   Create your own website. Along with showcasing industry knowledge on
        other people's websites, you can also create your own Internet
        presence with links to articles of interest, and information about
        your skills and past achievements. For creative professionals, a
        website with work samples is especially beneficial, as many employers
        will want to see prior projects before arranging a job interview.

    -   Be prepared to explain. If there is unflattering information about
        you online that you cannot remove, be prepared to offer an
        explanation to employers who might inquire about it.
    

    The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States
and in Canada, and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.





For further information:

For further information: THE CREATIVE GROUP, Jason Chapman, (416)
365-2010 extension 62070, jason.chapman@rhi.com


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