Dan Schawbel, a personal branding expert, gives his 10 Personal Branding Predictions for 2010. The one that caught my attention was number ten:
10) Online identities becoming as routine as employer drug tests
In 2009, Careerbuilder reported that 45% of companies are using social networks as background checks. I’m going to go with 75% of companies for 2010 and then 100% of companies in 2012. Just like a drug test, going online to review an applicants brand is easy, cost effective and can save headaches later. There are issues that arise such as possibly losing good talent because of one Facebook picture or judging someone based on their picture and not on their credibility.
What this means for your personal brand: Everyone is going to have to be very careful with what they put online. Go through your online presence right now to make sure it best represents you as a professional. Try and see your profiles through a companies eyes too.
The topic of using social networks for background checks has been controversial because of the possible legal exposure but I’m going to have to agree with Dan here…
100% of companies will be using social networks as part of their employee screening program by 2012.
It is important it note that these social searches will not replace traditional background checks (county criminal searches, verification of driving records, education and employment) but will be an increasingly important tool to help companies find the best fit employees for their organizations.
Read Dan’s 10 Personal Branding Predictions for 2010.