As the world is slowly getting back to normal, and businesses have been reopened after being obliged to shut due to COVID-19. As a result, individuals have started to update their resume and look for new employment opportunities. But your resume isn’t the only factor to consider as recruiters have admitted that your social media presence can directly impact your employment opportunities.
When applying for a job there is a whole list of factors you need to consider. Depending on your expectations it could be working hours, company culture, if there are opportunities to grow… the list goes on. The question is, despite having all the boxes ticked, what makes you more employable than your competitors?
Due to the hundreds if not thousands of applications hiring managers receive, each manager has their list of requirements. Before social media, managers viewed resumes and if each requirement had been met they would meet the candidate. Now before recruiters are considering meeting you, they can evaluate your social media presence. 70% of all hiring managers have reported looking at social media sites to help evaluate all candidates. Many recruiters find social media as a source of real-time data to vet candidates.
A study held by Penn State University investigated the effects of three potentially negative topics on the hiring process. The topics include self-absorption, pointedness and alcohol and drug use on the hiring manager’s decision making. After the study, the researchers concluded that self-absorption negatively impacted the recruiters’ impression of the candidate. Self-absorption was more deemed more negative than opinionatedness and drug and alcohol use. Michael Tews, associate professor of hospitality management, commented “People who post divisive subject matter may be viewed as more argumentative and less cooperative. Additionally, their views could run counter to those of hiring managers, which may influence managers’ beliefs in candidates’ qualifications for jobs.”
Social media impacting current employment?
In Australia, the law is evolving. In 2011, the case Linfox Australia Pty Ltd v Glen Stutsel was explored by FairWork Australia. Stustel was dismissed as a result of making posts about two Linfox Managers that were deemed offensive and discriminatory. FairWork concluded that Stutsel was unfairly dismissed after taking into account various factors. Throughout the case, Stusel explained his page had higher privacy settings and he continuously showed remorse. A deciding factor was that Linfox also didn’t have any policies on the use of social media in the workplace.
When reflecting on this case, it can be worrying for employers. There is a clear cut message for companies is to ensure they have social media policies. Following this, companies must continuously work on such policies to suit the current social climate. Despite this, with nearly nine years passing since this case, statistics suggest that companies have been slow to formalise their position on social media usage by employees.
The continuing conversation is with individuals who have both context-specific and data-specific privacy expectations. There is the growing concern of social media platforms collecting personal information and sharing it to third parties. This has snowballed with individuals being uncomfortable with hiring managers using such social media to screen applicants. Of course, some individuals are more than comfortable with this practice and cater their social media to suit this.
It is a widely held belief that if employers and recruiters intend to use social media platforms as a way to vet candidates it must be accurately translated throughout the application process. An online survey involving nearly 500 participants found that if applicants were aware of ‘cyber vetting’ they would avoid applying. This has led to companies losing high-quality applicants, which resulted in many companies not disclosing cyber vetting in the application.
Whether or not you are comfortable with cyber vetting and of the issues it can pose to privacy. You must recognise that what you post online could impact not only what your friend from University thinks of you but what your potential employer thinks of you.