Bearing in mind that social media is a huge part of our lives, it shouldn’t surprise you that employers use it to screen potential employees for their company.
It makes perfect sense, in fact, to get an idea of how someone is, personality wise, before inviting them for an interview. But of course it doesn’t stop there. Some employers do other things around social media, as part of their general management of employees.
It’s an interesting part of modern life, and we thought we would take a look at how employers use social for their management and their recruitment of employees.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that many companies use social media to help them recruit people for roles in their business. It’s so easy to scour social media profiles for information on potential candidates that it would be silly not to use the platforms.
The obvious choice is LinkedIn. Here, employers can take a look at the CVs of potential employees, which gives them an immediate and clear understanding of where that possible candidate is at as regards skills and experience.
Of course, it doesn’t stop there. LinkedIn also allows employers to contact other companies in the same industry as the one they operate in, and find potential employees that way.
LinkedIn was developed as a social tool that allowed for business networking, and the tools included in the platform (including a powerful search tool) lets businesses look at companies and people in their industry.
Pushing the idea out to other social media networks, Facebook and Twitter now allow companies to build out a strong brand presence. Maybe these two channels aren’t as closely linked to recruitment (LinkedIn offers a job-seeking function, for example), but they still allow for that high quality corporate feel. Once established on Facebook and Twitter, companies can search people and their credentials quickly and easily.
While it’s true that companies look at social media profiles to make hiring decisions, it’s also true that they look at profiles while someone is employed in their company, to see how they behave online and how they present themselves. While some may argue that this is an intrusion into privacy, it happens anyway.
Due to the huge impact of social media on our lives, it is easy to find an employee’s account, follow their posts, and generally monitor behaviour. And people have taken notice of this. For example, you would be hard pressed these days to find a Twitter or Facebook profile for a senior leader in a company. Understanding that their social media would be looked at and interpreted, many stay away.
A survey by CareerBuilder.com showed that employers use social media more than we might think, to both recruit and monitor.
One finding in the survey stated that 47% of employers would not hire someone if they could not find them online. This shows that employers do place some value on social media. It’s clear that they want to do some research before they ask people for an interview.
The same survey found that employers generally looked for the following information when they searched for candidates online:
• Information that supports qualifications
• A professional online presence
• Reasons not to hire the candidate
• What other people are posting about that candidate
If this all happens before you are offered an interview, it makes sense to ensure you have a clean, professional online presence before you apply for a role.
The survey also found that nearly 50% of employers continue to monitor behaviour once a person is in a role. Some of those employers make it part of their daily processes, so a constant monitoring is in place. Some negative outcomes have occured because of this, with some employees being reprimanded and even fired due to their behaviour online.
There are many, many ways in which your online behaviour could stop you from being hired, or from holding on to a job. For example, if you have a screen name on a social media profile that is unprofessional, this can go against you.
Employees who behave unprofessionally through what they post and how they respond to posts can also expect to see their standing with the company suffer.
Basically, employers are using social media to hire and to monitor employees. The best advice anyone could have in this area is to keep your social media professional, and focus on maintaining the image you know your employers are looking for.
Read more: How to Balance Your Personal and Professional Identity on Social Media
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