According to a recently published Harris Poll, 52% of employers use social media to research job candidates. This number is up from 43% in 2014 and 39% in 2013. The same poll found that 35% of hiring managers who use social media to screen applicants have sent friend requests or otherwise attempted to connect with applicants online. As stunning as that number is, it’s even more stunning that 80% report that job seekers report accepting such requests. Employers, please stop the insanity. I’m not treading new ground here by telling you that you are taking a huge risk by Googling or Friending applicants without proper checks in place to guard against the disclosure of protected information.