Seasoned Umbrella Company Employees and other high-end freelancers who specialise in interim executive roles may be interested in the findings of a new survey by executive employment agency InterExec®: most international headhunters trawl through their potential appointees’ social media activities before hiring.

InterExec® matches executives with international headhunters, specialising in roles commanding salaries of between £150,000 and £1 million. In its third annual study of the senior executive jobs market, a poll of international headhunters found that 68% review candidates’ social media footprints, including posts they have made on popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 89% of InterExec®’s corporate clients also scrutinise their prospective appointees’ social media profiles.

Well over half (59%) believed that candidates should also take care to ensure that their families do not post personal information about them on social media sites.

The findings will probably come as no surprise to experienced professionals in the executive market, although younger ‘rising stars’ might do well to take heed of the findings if they are to avoid embarrassment in the future. Younger people are known to use social media sites more freely than older candidates, having grown up in the social media era.

Most of the respondents, however, looked favourably on business media sites such as LinkedIn, with 77% believing that it was positive for candidates to have a strong professional presence on such sites.

Describing social media as a “doubled-edged” sword, InterExec®’s founder, Kit Scott-Brown, said: “Viewed out of context, what is often an innocent family moment or boisterous act with friends can be seen as potentially lacking in judgement by recruiters, especially at senior level.”

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