In today's day and age, social media is an incredibly important part of the business world. Job seekers use sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with potential employers, and companies use these same sites to see if their candidates are up to no good. 

In fact, the role of social media in the corporate sphere is continuing to increase. A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that more employers than ever before are turning away candidates due to what they found online. In the survey – which included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals – 51 percent of respondents indicated that they didn't hire a person because of their social media profile. Last year, that figure was only 43 percent, and 34 percent in 2012.

Specifically, employers are concerned about potential candidate's behaviors. CareerBuilder found that 46 percent of survey participants passed on potential hires because of inappropriate photographs, while 41 percent moved on due to information about drug use or alcohol. Other issues included discriminatory comments, poor communication skills, criminal activities and unprofessional screen names.

"It's important for job seekers to remember that much of what they post to the Internet – and in some cases what others post about them – can be found by potential employers, and that can affect their chances of getting hired down the road," said CareerBuilder's vice president of human resources Rosemary Haefner.

What should you be looking for?
As you begin the hiring process, you are no doubt concerned about bringing in the best possible people to boost your small business's financial plan. Social media can play a valuable role in that – take the time to carefully research each and every potential job candidate. However, you still need to know what you should be looking for.

According to, the first thing on your list should be a criminal history. Check out the person on both a state and federal level. Any record may not be an immediate no, but keep it in mind moving forward. In addition, check out their credit. Their financial stability can be an indication of responsibility. You may also want to make a mandatory drug test part of the employment process, if you feel it will help you narrow down the best candidates.

Above all else, check in with their previous employers. While they may not be willing to give a recommendation, you never know what you'll find out that could prove beneficial to your employee search.