Wednesday, June 8, 2016

41% of Employers are LESS LIKELY to hire people they cannot find information about online

Somebody recently asked me how I vet new hires and I responded with my standard process: 

  1. I first look them up on LinkedIn and review their profile in detail for complete and accurate info (The Good) and missing elements (the Bad).
  2. I then Google them by name to review their digital footprint online
  3. I then check social media for their information and activity to learn more about them

As it turns out, I am not alone in this process. Career Builder recently released the results for their hiring managers survey and found out some pretty interesting information…especially if you ever want to work for somebody else in your lifetime (ie most everybody). Here are some key findings from the survey to consider:

  • 60% of hiring managers use social media sites to research candidates before hiring (a 500% increase over the past decade).
  • 65% of sales candidates are now researched through their social media (second highest only to IT professionals at 76%).
  • 49% of hiring managers have said they HAVE NOT hired somebody based on their social media presence.

But the news isn’t all that Orwellian so unless your social media is full of provocative, bigoted, drug-laced, poor grammar, and bad-mouthing about previous employers and managers, there is a potential upside. Consider the following:

  • 41% of employers have indicated that they are LESS LIKELY to hire people they CANNOT find information about online. Much like your credit score, you need to have a history otherwise hiring managers may think you are trying to hide something from them
  • 32% of hiring managers indicated that some information they found on social media actually caused them to HIRE A CANDIDATE. In other words, unlike your resume which is rapidly becoming obsolete and useless, there are plenty of other citations online that when found can help increase your chances of getting hired.

If you are in sales, here are a few places to start:

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and I mean REALLY COMPLETE. This is now your resume online and unlike a paper résumé, you are NOT LIMITED by the amount of good content you can include in your profile. This includes testimonials, accomplishments, connections, videos, pictures, etc.

Make sure your digital footprint for your name is filled with useful information about you. Your digital footprint are the page-one Google results of searches for you by name. For example, my footprint can be found by typing “Dustin Ruge” in Google. If you have a more common name, you might need to include your geo and/or other descriptions to help narrow it down in the search to you. This page will include up to 15 different sources of information about you including websites, pictures, videos, etc. so make sure you proactively monitor it and make sure it is professional and will help you moving forward in your career. In short, if you don’t take control of your digital footprint, others will do it for you and more often than not the results can be detrimental.

Finally, if you have negative information online about you, find ways to push it off of the first page of Google. It may be possible to expunge negative information but don’t count on it – especially if it is coming from a news site that doesn’t care about your opinion of their journalistic rights. The best thing you can do is create positive news from high authority websites and properties with the goal of pushing down and drowning-out anything bad in the process. 


Dustin Ruge is a an award winning sales and marketing professional with over 20 years of successful sales and marketing management experience. Dustin’s experience in sales, marketing and business strategy ranges from technology startups to Fortune 500 companies. Dustin is frequently referenced by Grant Cardone, STNTV, and in such publications as INC and Selling Power Magazines and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences across the nation.

Dustin is also the author of two best-selling books: THE TOP 20%: Why 80% of small businesses fail at sales and marketing and how you can succeed and  The Successful Sales Manager: A Sales Manager's Handbook For Building Great Sales Performance. Both books are available today on or on our website at