Please answer the discussion question below and reply to the two responses no later than noon sunday
Discussion question :
For this week’s topic, research the controversial HR practice of checking a job candidate’s social media sites as part of the selection process. Find at least one article and provide a summary for the discussion board. Also, respond to at least two other student posts.
The article I read was from Forbes.com and written in 2012, and was an interview with the CEO of a company called Reappify, which would use integrated social media data to help companies in the hiring process. My biggest takeaway from this article was the fact that many companies at the time were starting to move away from conducting their own online searches of applicants, as it was proving very time consuming and could often reveal protected data (information about race, age, etc.) which could not be used in the hiring process. The author brought up the possibility of potential employers asking for Facebook passwords in order to ensure the applicant was not posting anything that was counter to the company’s ideals or principles. The CEO mentioned the law that was passed in Maryland that forbids this practice, and how it was becoming almost nonexistent in major companies. This was due to the growth of companies similar to theirs that would conduct the searches for these companies, ensuring no protected data was released, and that the person’s private social media was not accessed. So long as the applicant had privacy settings on their account, the companies were unable to view it.
The CEO would further go on to recommend that people sign up for social media platforms that served their particular interests and the job sectors they were looking for employment in, and be active in those communities in order to potentially make contact with companies that were looking for new hires. They also recommended keeping professional profiles up to date (LinkedIn, etc) and connecting with like-minded professionals through those profiles, as these would often lead to new employment opportunities. For employers, the CEO recommended using software that was designed to search particular areas of the internet for information on potential new hires, which would also avoid those areas that may inadvertently expose protected data. Also, keeping their business profiles on similar professional sites updated will help in finding the most interested and qualified applicants.
The author concluded that, while there may still be some companies that cross boundaries by asking for Facebook or other social media passwords, it is up to the individual to decide what they want to share online under their own name, and how such things may come back and affect them in the end. I can agree with this point, as I have seen many individuals post things online, without consideration for the “friends” that will see it, in particular Soldiers that are Facebook friends with supervisors or other individuals within their unit or chain of command. There are plenty of stories out there of individuals in the military posting their feelings about certain senior personnel or elected officials, only to have it come back and have a derogatory effect on their careers. That is another reason to avoid social media connections with co-workers, and in particular, anyone that is in a supervisory position over you. Words have meaning, and you never know who is reading them.
Quast, Lisa. “Recruiting, Reinvented: How Companies Are Using Social Media In The Hiring Process.” Forbes.com. Forbes Magazine, 21 May 2012. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.
In today’s day and age, social media is accessible by the entire population of internet using personnel. Social media sites contain information either placed there by the use or other users of the site. This makes confidentiality extremely important since anyone can post a picture or information about you for all to find. Recently, social media sites and internet searches have been used to pre-screen employers prior to interviewing to ensure that the values presented by the applicant match those of the organizational vision.
In the article, Mr. Segal discusses the potential risks and rewards of companies using social media for hiring practices. He explains that organizations use social media to their advantage. One way would be free advertising. Companies can post job openings and use social media as a cheap recruiting tool for employees that may not be local or have heard of the opening in other ways. This way of recruiting helps organizations reach as many people as possible to increase the quality of employee that applies. Secondly, he says companies use social media as an investigating tool, almost like a background check.
Mr. Segal discusses that the EOC cautions employers on the use of social media in hiring practices. He also discusses how the EOC may be looking for a way to give employers some leeway for the discovery of information found in social media. Adversely, the use of social media for recruitment may been seen as disadvantageous for those people too poor to afford the internet or those who don’t use social media at all. He discusses that the best way for employers to avoid adverse reactions to social media recruiting would be to use multiple forms of recruitment to ensure all potential applicants are receiving the same information.
When companies use social media as a background check, organizations become leery that they could run into legal issues since many photos and information contain protected data such as race, age, sexual orientation, or religion. Although, information found in social media can be helpful to the applicant for the hiring process, such as proof of volunteer work, the risks may be too large to benefit overall. Employees would need to ensure that the protective information found on social media is not used in the decision-making process for hiring a candidate or not.
Segal, Jonathon. “Social Media Use in Hiring: Assessing the Risks.” SHRM.org. Society for Human Resource Management, Web 11 Sept 2015.
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