Kennesaw Communication: Employers now evaluating job applicants through social media

  • Hiring managers at companies check social media profiles of potential employees
  • Companies cannot use social media information for discriminatory purposes
  • Looking for a job? Highlight your community service on social media

By Robael Enyew at Kennesaw State University on October 17, 2011

Each day more and more companies are making the decision to check social media applications such as Facebook and MySpace to gain further information about potential employees.

Social Media LogosMillions of people all around the world use social media applications to stay in contact with old friends, keep current friends up to date and even to make new ones. But most people who use these sites don’t think about their future careers with the items they post.

“Over 75 percent of companies check at least Facebook and MySpace when hiring now-a-days. It gives them a heads-up on what kind of a person they are and what you can expect from them,” said Nicholas Blake, a Human Resources department intern for Fabrico Company.

Companies began searching these sites a few years back but the amount of companies using this method has increased drastically each year. Companies have to be weary using this method though.

While checking these sites companies have to be cautious that any decision they make using these references cannot be linked to discrimination of any sort. Many companies, such as Fabrico, have used legal counsel before using these tools, to be certain they are not making any mistakes.

Cohen Cooke, an ex-intern in the hiring department at Honda Financial Services, has checked hundreds of social media accounts of people applying for jobs.

“It’s amazing to see how much people seem like they don’t care what they put on their profiles. Now Facebook and MySpace advise the users to change privacy settings more often but, man, it used to be so easy to find pictures of people smoking weed or just doing things you would never want your boss to find out about,” said Cooke.

Cooke began to also explain most companies never make the decision to hire or not completely based on what is found. It is more of an additional resource rather than a “game-changer.”

A company looking at two identical resumes with equal interest in both parties may go to the Facebook pages of the applicants and see photos one person passed out drunk on the side walk and the other applicant volunteering for a shelter.

Although both things are legal and allowed, most companies are searching for people who will represent the company well and also be reliable after being hired.

A picture of someone passed out could insinuate that the person likes to drink and party a lot leaving room for judgment that the person may miss days or be late due to these activities.

Social media applications have a much larger effect on a person than just pleasure. Future and current users need to be cautious of what they post. Whether someone is looking for a job or already has one, these media tools can end and eliminate chances in a matter of seconds.

J.P.R.O.F.

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