Facebook users beware: Employers in the UK are using social networking websites to carry out background checks on prospective candidates when filling vacancies, while the majority of bosses also use search engines for this reason.
New research from financial services recruiter Joslin Rowe shows that 20 per cent of employers use social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace to research candidates and more than two thirds (68 per cent) use search engines.
This is indicative of the fact that employers are prepared to use the internet to find out about people who have applied for their jobs in a non-professional capacity, discovering personal information that can influence the selection process.
"The research may worry some candidates, particularly those who bare all on their web pages," Tara Ricks of Joslin Rowe told Online Recruitment.
"Most employers looking at these sites are not trying to catch applicants out, but trying to get a better picture of a person overall."
In related news staff at Oxford University are logging onto Facebook in search of evidence in support of disciplinary measures against students.