Facebook utilized by job recruiters

Facebook can be a blessing or a curse when embarking on a job search.Purdue University with the National Association of Colleges and Employers offered a survey to campus recruiters and 64 companies.

When recruiters were asked five questions about whether online resources affected their decisions in hiring, 78 percent said it did have an affect, according to the survey.

“Facebook is the best thing to ever happen to job recruitment,” said Bill Moncrief, senior associate dean of the Neeley School of Business.

“I am all for Facebook,” he said. “I just hope students realize that what they put up, people see and can have negative consequences.”

Facebook was founded in February 2004 and is a social utility that helps people communicate across the country and the world, according to Facebook.com.

Facebook is visited by millions of people and more than half of them return to the site daily. According to Facebook.com, there are about 13,000 members on TCU’s network – almost 9,000 are students.

As the numbers increase on Facebook, the number of recruiters using it as a tool will also increase, Moncrief said.

There are more than 50 million active users on Facebook, according to its statistics. Every day since January 2007, there have been 200,000 new users – an increase of 3 percent each week. It is the sixth most trafficked Web site with more than half of its members out of college.

“Facebook has free information that an employer wouldn’t get otherwise,” said Kimshi Hickman, interim director of Alcon Career Services. “They want to know as much as possible about a candidate.”

Hickman said to consider a Facebook profile as a reference. Employers can learn more about candidates by checking their profiles on Facebook in 15 minutes than they can in a one-hour interview, Hickman said.

Moncrief said he goes to every Foundations in Business class, required for all sophomores, to talk about Facebook.

“The best thing a student can do is to audit their profile,” Hickman said. “Look at your site and pretend you are an employer. Ask yourself if it would impress. Audit yourself.”

Sometimes a student’s profile fails to impress and uphold the standards of TCU, Moncrief said.

“On occasion, Facebook content has affected students’ chances at the business school,” Moncrief said. “If it embarrasses the Neeley Business School they will meet with me and the content will be removed.

“There are things put on Facebook that are just not acceptable,” Moncrief said. “There will be consequences when you are representing a university, or company, or program. Understand that it is not just you; you are representing others.”

Moncrief said Facebook will not just have negative effects on people now but content can come back to hurt them again.

“What students put on Facebook can be pulled off the Internet and saved, it could come back and haunt them later in their life,” Moncrief said. “And that’s not just for future politicians.”

According to the report from NACE, employers are able to find candidates who fit with their company because of groups, pictures and other personal information that is found on their Web sites.

Hickman said one way to impress recruiters is to have quotes and information about yourself that reflect what you truly want people to know about you. After you audit yourself recreate your profile to better reflect your true self, Hickman said.

“Recruiters are using Facebook to get a feel for your personality, to see if you are a good fit for their company,” Hickman said. “If they look through your pictures or your Wall and see inappropriate comments and pictures they may decide that you are not a good fit for them.