Human resource departments have confessed to resorting to unusual HR strategy tactics to find out more about potential applicants.

According to a survey of close to 1,000 HR practitioners, carried out by people search website, one third said they had searched social networking sites like Facebook to find out more about prospective employees.

Interestingly, 24 per cent of those questioned admitted that they had been put off an applicant after spying on them.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Steffen Ruehl, chief executive and co-founder of, said: “These statistics once again reinforce the importance of monitoring your online profile. A comment that seems funny to a friend may be taken completely differently by a potential manager.”

Inappropriate drunk photos were the thing that put most recruiters off and were cited by 47 per cent of HR professionals, while rude comments were enough to put off 22 per cent of those spying on potential recruits.