Survey: Swedish Execs Use Facebook to Check out Applicants

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Seventeen percent of Swedish executives check out job applicants on social-networking sites as a part of their recruiting process, and unsuitable photos can result in someone losing a job opportunity, according to a survey done by staffing company Manpower Sverige (Sweden).

Wanting to see whether an applicant's personality matches the company is cited as the most common reason for going to sites such as Facebook, but executives also go to social-networking sites to try to find out if the person seems dishonest.

Younger executives are more likely to use social-networking sites to find out more about an applicant. Twenty-eight percent of executives born in the 1980s do it, compared to 12 percent of those born during the 1940s, according to the survey.

Using social-networking sites as a source of information is a risky proposition, and can lead to errors of judgment, according to Manpower, which does not use social-networking sites to cull information about applicants.

However, there is no way around the fact that lines between work and private life are blurring. Job applicants have to be aware that many companies use social-networking sites as a source of information about them. Applicants have to become "Web smart," and think before they publish texts and photos the can rule them out of a recruiting process, Manpower said.

The survey also shows that more executives want to add their employees to their social network, than the other way around.

Mixing work and private life on social-networking sites led to problems for 4 percent of respondents. Personal information was, for example, made public at work or photos where seen by people who shouldn't have seen them, according to Manpower.

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