THE LEGAL PROFESSION is amongst the highest user of search engines to do background checks on both current and prospective employers, with “googling” being rife in most firms.
Research conducted by Talent2, an Australian recruitment firm, found that the legal profession is the most active in finding gossip and news about their employer and their peers via the internet. Nearly a third in the profession check out their immediate boss each day, and 55 per cent look on Google and other search engines to find out more about the firm they are working in.
“I think in this day and age, employees are much better informed when going into an interview or looking at [their own] companies. Often they just want to know a little more about the company they are working in,” said Talent2 Sydney general manager Geoff Whytcross.
“People like to prepare themselves for interviews. It gives you that preparation to go along and sound a bit more informed. If you are being interviewed at Mallesons [Stephen Jaques], you look up Mallesons and it may bring up some interesting things,” he said, as an example. “It is giving you that competitive advantage prior to going to interview.”
In a survey of 537 people, it was found that 73 per cent of job hunters say they always Google the boss and the company, while 72 per cent said what they find in their search impacts their decision to attend the interviews and take the job.
As well, 86 per cent surveyed said this investigative approach allowed them to ask more questions during an interview. It is also a means to check for danger spots in prospective firms, Whytcross said.
People also look up their own firms’ names to find out the latest gossip, said Whytcross. “I don’t think it is done with a lot of maliciousness, though.”
Younger people are the prime users of such searching, according to the survey. “They are lot more savvy about going into interviews,” said Whytcross. “People who have been brought up in the information age are doing a lot more of this. As well, better educated people, who have been brought up in the information age, are finding more about the people they are going to work for. If a warning sign came up, they would look into that.”