The sources that hiring managers would once use to gather information about candidates for a position have expanded greatly as online social media use has grown. There was a time when the hiring manager would have relatively limited information on the candidate. The potential employee would be interviewed, and would give references. This was usually the extent of all information sources that would be available to the person or people doing the hiring for a company. Now that social media is widely used, the hiring manager can utilize a candidates online presence as a resource of information to influence hiring decisions. Nowadays it is accepted as common knowledge among those applying for tech jobs that a company will do at least a cursory online check of employment candidates. And I do not doubt that for certain positions, there is a much deeper than cursory online search done, most notably through Facebook and other popular social media websites.
The fact that most employers search social media sites for information about potential new hires is becoming more widely known, but it is not yet apparent to all job seekers. In addition to this, people can easily forget about photos that have been posted to their Facebook wall in years past. Employers will not look favorably on candidates who have a large number of photos on Facebook of the candidate drinking to excess. The employer will most likely also read posts by candidate, and will take all information into consideration when making hiring decisions. Though some candidates are not pleased to hear that employers search through social media sites for information, it is perfectly understandable that employers do this. It is in the best interest of a business to know the true personality and disposition of a candidate, as well as if the candidate partakes in illegal activities(Marcum et al., 2014).
Though there are some detrimental (to candidates) aspects of online social media presences being examined by employers, there are beneficial aspects as well. LinkedIn, discussed in my previous post, is a good way to improve one’s online presence. It is a way to list all of one’s achievements, experience, and interests. Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates, and since this is well known, LinkedIn accounts are usually crafted to appeal to employers. Also, it is possible to make a Facebook account private, so that only a persons friends may view the profile in its entirety. This being said, it is always possible, however unlikely, for a hiring manager to log in to Facebook as one of candidates friends and view the complete profile. I hope that this information about social media and its influence on hiring is useful.
More Employers Pass on Job Candidates Due to Social Media. (2014). T+D, 68(10), 23. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ofm&AN=98525871&site=ehost-live
Marcum, T. M., & Perry, S. J. (2014). WHEN A PUBLIC EMPLOYER DOESN’T LIKE WHAT ITS EMPLOYEES “LIKE”: SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT. Labor Law Journal, 65(1), 5-19. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ofm&AN=95315814&site=ehost-live
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