What is Cybervetting?

Cybervetting is “the process of examining prospective employees’ online information to help make hiring decisions.” This has become a common strategy among recruiters to determine if job candidates are a suitable fit. Some vetting may be more extensive than others, but generally, recruiters are looking for whatever information is easily accessible about you online. This includes your social media presence and whatever else may come up by giving your name a quick Google search. Due to online tracking, there may be more information available about you than you might think.

Therefore, it is important to not only understand, but also manage your digital footprint. This is true whether you’re actively looking for a job or simply open to new positions down the road. A national survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder in 2017 shined a light on what exactly employers are looking for in these searches:

“When researching candidates for a job, employers who use social networking sites are looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job (61 percent), if the candidate has a professional online persona (50 percent), what other people are posting about the candidates (37 percent) and for a reason not to hire a candidate (24 percent). Employers aren’t just looking at social media – 69 percent are using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing to research candidates as well,”

At this point, you may be patting yourself on the back and thinking, “I don’t use social media, so the joke is on them.” But, guess what? That may be even worse. The same CareerBuilder survey also found that more than 57% of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online, assuming that no information at all is more suspicious than perhaps a few unfitting posts.

How It Works

Tips for Managing Your Information

Want to take control of the information that’s available about you online? Here are a few simple tips for maintaining a candidate-worthy digital presence:

  • Conduct a search for yourself. Recruiters rely on quick searches to find your information. See what comes up and optimize it accordingly.
  • Your online persona should reflect your offline persona. Be authentic. Highlight your passions, including your occupational interests, and avoid red flags.
  • Before you post something, ask yourself, would I mind if my employer saw this, or would my employer mind that I’m sharing it?
  • Get involved in online communities that reflect your knowledge and authority in your field. This will help you develop a positive digital reputation.
  • Assume that everything you do online is fair game, even if you attempt to keep things private. Data is being collected and leaks and breaches happen far too often.
  • Be conscious of how others can influence your digital reputation. The posts you’re tagged in, the things that are shared with you, and others’ comments can just easily shape an image for recruiters.
  • Don’t become a ghost. Being cautious about your online information is encouraged, but don’t completely disappear. As mentioned, this may backfire and leave recruiters more suspicious.