Do you believe that your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile are the only sources of personal information that employers look at?
In today’s digital world, presenting your professional self goes far beyond the latter profiles, therefore the answer to the above question is a clear no. Firstly, it is important to look at how job seekers today use social media applications as a major tool in terms of career search. In order to expand job searches we turn on postings from companies and set up notifications to immediately find career opportunities and openings once they are posted. Therefore, social media profiles and postings allow us as job seekers to have a closer look into potential employers.
In the same manner however, employers also carry out their background checks on potential employees through several social media sites, which enables them to view applicants’ profiles, their online presence and behaviour. The latter has added an extra layer of involvement to the job process and its complexity. Whether its LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter, all these online tools have become revolutionary in that they have changed the way companies view and ultimately choose their employees. The reason employers carry out social media checks on applicants is because they want to make sure the person that they employ is a good fit with the company’s culture. According to The Society for Human Resource Management, 43% of organizations use social media and search engines to screen candidates, and 36% have disqualified applicants as a result of their findings. Employers often want to gain a deeper understanding of who you are, beyond the standard job application package, and therefore use social recruiting to investigate your online presence to aid them in their screening process. Employers usually look at candidates’ online behaviour, information that supports the job qualifications, how the candidate interacts with other users and what other users are saying about the candidate. Consequently, it can be said that social media profiles can have a positive or negative effect on one’s career, whether that is for the employees, employers, or companies themselves.
Impact of Social Media use on Candidates
Before applying for a job, you should review how people see you online. For example, pictures of you playing beer pong are probably not going to help you get that corporate job you were long dreaming of! If you really want to share your nights out, you should keep your social media settings on private to be sure you are not damaging your reputation or image for yourself. A CareerBuilder survey has found that the reasons candidates are often not chosen to work for the company is due to them posting inappropriate or provocative pictures or content, evidence of drinking or drug use, discriminatory posts, and using inappropriate screen names. However, social media can also act as an advantage to candidates. The same study also found that 33% of employers found information that made them more likely to hire a candidate. For example, a candidate’s profile conveying a professional image, portraying an individual that would be a match to the company’s culture, and appearing to be well rounded are social media benefits that work in favour of the candidate applying for the job.
Impact of Social Media use on Employees
Once you have secured the job, your online social media professionality should not stop. Once you have been hired, it is crucial to make sure that you are aware of your company’s social media and privacy policies and regulations to avoid breaking any rules. For example, posting confidential information about clients or company information on social media, or discussing any grievances you may have with your employer online may be grounds for termination. Furthermore, sending friend requests to co-workers or your employer may not always be a great decision. Once you become connected on social media, you are essentially giving them access to your pictures, posts, and anything else you are tagged, in which can lead to negative results in the workplace.
Impact of Social Media use on Employers
It is equally as important as an employer to reflect on how your social media usage could impact your relationships with your employees. Choosing to connect with an employee on social media could in some cases change the office dynamics. If an employee sees a post on your profile that they do not agree with, they may worry that you might discriminate against them if they do not share the same views or ideas. Therefore, it is best to avoid posting information or beliefs about sensitive topics such as religion and politics for example.
Impact of Social Media use on Companies
Potential clients and candidates that are interested in a company usually automatically visit the company’s social media pages to see what they are all about and gather any information that is available. Therefore, companies should be aware of their social media presence and how it will be viewed by candidates, employees and clients. Are the posts on your company’s social media representing the culture of the company? Are the posts current or are they outdated? Are they interesting enough to grasp the attention of employees and candidates in order that they want to stay engaged? As a company you could also add social media pages such as articles, job openings, training opportunities, community outreach programs and team building that demonstrate what your company has to offer. The way that the company demonstrates itself on social media can make a difference in the type of candidates that apply for the jobs, how engaged employees are in the company and the impression you leave on clients.
Since 2005 we have placed thousands of candidates to advance their careers and meet our client’s strategic objectives. Our high-quality service is consistently committed to excellence where confidentiality, for both client and candidate, are at the forefront of our priorities.