Jan 28, 2008 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

As more and more hiring managers turn to Google to churn out information about a job candidate, it's either be a boon or a bane for the applicant depending on how or where he or she's found on the Internet, observes Chad Sapieha.

A hirer from Toronto, Canada on grounds of anonymity told a tale about what they found when they looked up for the candidate online. The candidate's name surfaced on a dating advertisement posted by him containing “sex-related information that could be seen as bizarre.” Once the information was provided to the senior executive, he immediately called for dropping the candidate as he felt that the candidate “wouldn't be a good fit for their corporate culture.”

For many people it's a cause of fear as they are scared off the consequences if their potential employer finds about the skeletons in their closets. A student applying for a job makes his fears known when he applied to a company, well-known for carrying out background checks. He recounts that he was once charged and now charges have been dropped against him, but the previous information is still available on the Web, “It's the only real testament to my character that my potential employer would find online…Likely, I would not even receive a follow-up phone call to allow me to explain the circumstances under which this incident occurred.”

While it might be unfavorable for some to be found on the wrong places on the Internet, sometimes good information about you might actually help your case as was illustrated by a hiring manager, “Once I was looking for someone to work as a programmer with the Department of National Defence,…and through online research I discovered that the applicant had previously been with a company that had worked on military applications. It was highly relevant to the position he was applying for, and that information wasn't on his resume.”

It can turn out to be both ways, apart from simply Googling many hirers find social networking sites to be a good hunting ground for digging information. However, the search engines remain popular “I've never done my job without Google,” says Cheron Martin, technical recruiter at a Toronto based staffing company.

Besides, the ease of finding information, the Internet also makes it possible to scoop out information that you are legally not
allowed to ask during an interview such as religious affiliation, marital status and race.

Sometimes job seekers and others hire the services of consultants for a clean-up operation, and it costs them anywhere between US$ 3,000 and US$10,000. Quite an expensive process, yet there are no guarantees.

Many employers believe in following a balanced approach, that is confirming the information with the candidate if they think it's appropriate as it's more likely to yield better results, than blindly trusting online sources.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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