Locating and then attracting the right talent to a company to fill vacancies has always presented a unique challenge to businesses, regardless of their size. Social media has completely changed the landscape for both firms and young candidates – 89% of 18-29 year olds are active on at least one platform.

More and more employers are looking for a good cultural fit, so often a Google search will provide a greater insight into a person than any CV can. Research conducted by Monster and YouGov has found that more than a third of UK companies have turned down a job candidate due to their social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Additionally, more than half (56%) of UK HR professionals admit that a candidate’s online reputation has had an influence over whether they are hired, with 65% admitting to Googling a job seeker during the hiring process.

Two-way street

The online reputation works both ways, as the same research shows that 28% of employees have been influenced by what they have read about an employer on social media. As companies seek capable and qualified candidates they can no longer rely on the fact that they are simply offering a job to attract interest.

Businesses need to become aware of the external brand of the company and think about the image they are portraying as an organisation, as well as using it as a tool in order to get a better understanding of employees.

Candidates concerned with social media

Millennials are the most concerned about the impact their social media persona might have on their career prospects, with 67% believing that companies will turn down applicants before the interview stage due to their social media personas.

A lot of youngsters tend to focus on the negatives that a social media presence can bring, however it can prove to be a great tool when it comes to building a personal brand and becoming more attractive to an employer.

As online and offline lives continue to become intertwined, research shows that 24% of UK job seekers say they would utilise professional social media networks to find new jobs and 10% would use general social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

If you’re an employer looking to attract the best graduate talent, find out how Discovery Graduates can help