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Small-business owners must be wary of candidates' social sites

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Small business insurance can be used to help employers protect themselves from members of the workforce who just don't out fit in at their company and may decide to pursue a lawsuit against the firm. These problems can be alleviated by vetting candidates on social media to see if they would a strong addition to the workforce. According to new research from CareerBuilder, 43 percent of hiring managers said they have found information on sites such as Facebook and Twitter that have scared them off from hiring someone.

Job candidates can damage their reputations online
Small-business owners often have a tight-knit of group of employees and must be smart about their hiring decisions because they don't have a lot of time to get new hires acclimated to the company. This is why it may be a good idea to see what candidates have on their social media profiles, so firm owners can learn a little bit more about prospective employees.

Taking the leap to research candidates on the Internet has allowed hiring managers to form poor opinions about prospective employees. For instance, 48 percent of respondents saw potential hires drinking or using drugs, half uncovered inappropriate photos and 28 percent read comments that were made about race, gender or religion. Some of these candidates simply may be too risky for small-business owners to invest in.

"For jobseekers it is essential to be aware of what information they're making available to employers, and to manage their online image," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "At the same time, hiring managers and human resources departments must carefully consider how to use information obtained from social media and whether it is relevant to a candidate's qualifications."

Employees must play it safe
Small-business owners, as well as CEOs of large corporations, have made it clear that they are not scared to evaluate potential candidates on their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. The Wall Street Journal understands this growing trend and has reached out to jobseekers and offered them some sound advice: Don't let social media be a deal-breaker.

While many young professionals like to use social media for fun, they have to know that the companies they are applying to work for may be checking out their online presence. Recruiters and jobseekers alike must use discretion regarding social media sites, as what's shared with a network can be a major factor in a hiring decision.

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