Social Media As an Employee Screening Tool – Ethical or not?

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So, you didn’t get the job. Was it because you didn’t have the relevant qualifications? Was it because you attended interview but struggled with the interview questions? Or, was it the fact that your potential employer found drunken photos of you on Facebook and decided it was not fit with the image of the company?

Last year a survey carried out by CareerBuilder found that 43% of hiring managers who research candidates said they had found information on social media that caused them not to hire them. But the question remains – what qualifies as a valid reason? (

Social media screening is becoming increasingly for recruitment and screening potential employees. But do prospective employers have the right to make a decision based on a social profile? At what point do we draw the line end say it is unethical for companies to trawl through personal social media profiles before hiring? Of course, everyone has their rights to a social life end to their privacy. However, in the real world, it’s all too easy for social media image to put an employer off hiring candidate for a new post.

Linked In for Social Media Screening and Recruitment

Indeed, Linked In is the most acceptable way to screen a job candidate, because it is a professional network. By creating a professional profile on LinkedIn along with the job history and portfolio, you are putting yourself out there for potentially new employers to see your experience.

LinkedIn is also regularly used for recruitment. Certain companies, particularly social media end marketing companies, may use LinkedIn for headhunting if they have a specific job in mind.

Social Media for employee screening
Linked In for Recruitment

Employee Screening through Facebook and Twitter

It may not be ethical for prospective employers to trawl through your Facebook end twitter news feeds. However, if we have these profiles in the public domain there is little we can do to stop this from happening.

There are some things that you can do to protect yourself online. On Facebook, for example, you can set your privacy settings high so that only your approved friends can see your photos or news feed. On Twitter, you can opt to protect your tweets, which means that your tweets can only be seen by people who you have approved to follow you. This keeps your privacy and reduces the chances of future employer finding out about you online.

Is Social Media employee screening ethical or not?

Overall, despite the fact that social media employee screening is not really ethical, it does actually happen. The key thing to remember with social media is that most of it can be seen online, so don’t put anything on your profile that you would not want a future employer to see. This means avoiding swearing, bullying and drunken receive photographs!

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