If you’re looking to hire someone into your organisation you want to ensure that you’re making the right decision, especially if you’re going to spend time and money on training and development.
So how do you know that you’ve chosen the right employee? Are you really hiring someone who can act as a brand ambassador and uphold your company’s values?
Would you turn to stalking potential candidates on social media to find out what they’re really like?
Ok, stalking might be a bit of a strong term, but over 60% of employers in this survey check out a candidate’s social media presence before they decide whether or not to hire them.
But is this the right thing to do?
I would argue yes – to a certain extent.
If you consider that everything you post online on your public feed can usually be searched and accessed by anyone, then there is nothing to stop an employer (or potential employer) from doing a quick search on their candidates.
After all, if they link their profile to your company page then their drunken photos, inappropriate memes and ill thought out posts become associated with your business.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have privacy settings allowing users to have private accounts, making their posts and photos accessible only to selected followers.
Additionally, they all have their own private messaging features, allowing users to take their conversations away from the public sphere.
So is it wrong for a potential employer to search for candidates online?
No. If there is information in the public sphere online then it is accessible by anyone.
What matters most is that businesses don’t discriminate on gender, appearance, race or sexual orientation based on the information that they find online.
It might also get really awkward if you ask your interviewees about their holiday in Italy three years ago. If you decide to take at look at their profiles make sure you only get the information you need. A quick look at their most recent photos and posts should let you know whether this is someone you want representing your business.
I’m looking for a job – what should I do?
While I fully support free speech and the freedom to express yourself, there are other means of doing this and there is such a thing as oversharing.
If you’re looking for a job and are worried your online profiles are NSFW then I would recommend changing your privacy settings so that you only share your content with your close network.
Or if all else fails, untag, untag, untag.