Today, more than ever before, hiring professionals in contemporary organizations are increasingly using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as screening tools for potential employees (Root & McKay 202). This predisposition is being facilitated by the proliferation of social networking sites, which has afforded individuals new means to communicate with friends, co-workers and even strangers via networks (Mello 165). The present paper looks into the social media networks from the employment standpoint with the view to establishing what it takes for an individual to become a professional.
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Importance of Placing Positive Information on Social Media
It is of immense importance for individuals to place positive information on their social networking platforms as these sites are being used by employers to screen potential employees for possible recruitment and employment. Indeed, hiring professionals are increasingly relying on these sites to filter any posts about drugs, alcohol, sex, profanity and negative comments (Root & McKay 202), not mentioning that posting negative comments on social networking sites is today considered as suicidal as a substantial number of employers consider the information posted on these sites to make critical decisions regarding the hiring of employees (Mello 168).
Furthermore, owing to the fact that monitoring of employees’ social networking activities is easy and inexpensive as no special technology or customized software is required to conduct the monitoring, it is important for existing employees to post positive information on their social networking sites as employers can always shield their identity by using a pseudonym to gain access to an employee’s off-work, personal life in a way that the employee may not know who has actually gained access to the posted information (Mello 168).
Suitability of Social Media
Employers, in my view, are legally and morally justified to scour online social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to discover information about prospective hires as it is much easier for the hiring professional to find discomforting information about an employee owing to the fact that the main objective of these sites is to share information which is personal in nature. Indeed, it is not only justified for employers to use the social networking sites to screen potential employees as suggested in the expansive literature on social media and human resources (Vicknair et al 7-8), but also correct for the hiring professionals to holistically base their recruitment decisions on information posted on these sites as they provide an opportunity to filter incidences that could be used to dismiss the suitability of job candidates, such as substance abuse, badmouthing, profanity and other offensive content (Pritchard 1).
Importance of Maintaining Professionalism off the Job
Employees serve as the mirror of the organization not only in job-related contexts but also while off the job. Furthermore, the image and reputation of a company are evaluated and internalized based on how employees demonstrate professionalism on the job as well as off the job (De Vos, De Clippeleer, & Dewilde 761-762). When it comes to the use of social networking sites, employees who fail to demonstrate professionalism off the job elevate the risk of exposing their respective organizations to legal liabilities or even providing competitors with an avenue to imitate or copy the business or competitive strategies of their organizations (Vicknair et al 9). Owing to these factors, it is important for employees to maintain a professional image and disposition off the job.
The present paper has evaluated the social media networks from the employment standpoint with the view to establishing what it takes for an individual to become a professional. Overall, it can be concluded that social networking sites provide hiring professionals with the best chance ever to learn about the social, behavioral and professional dispositions of potential employees.
De Vos, Ans, Inge De Clippeleer and Thomas Dewilde. “Proactive Career Behaviors and Career Success during the Early Career.” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 82.4 (2009): 761-777. Academic Search Premier. Web.
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Mello, Jeffrey A. “Social Media, Employee Privacy and Concerted Activity: Brave New World or Big Brother? Labor Law Journal. 63.3 (2012): 165-173. Business Source Premier. Web.
Pritchard, Maritha 2013. How Social Recruitment Requires Students to Manage a Responsible Digital Footprint. Web.
Root, Teri and Sandra McKay. “Student Awareness of the Use of Social Media Screening by Prospective Employers.” Journal of Education for Business. 89.4 (2014): 202-206. Business Source Premier. Web.
Vicknair, Jamie, Dalia Elkersh, Katie Vancey and Michael C. Budden. “The Use of Social Networking Websites as a Recruiting Tool for Employers.” American Journal of Business Education. 3.11 (2010): 7-12. Academic Search Premier. Web.