Is Employee Social Media Page Check-up useful
Almost everyone nowadays is registered in social networks. For people it is a virtual meeting place with friends, a club to find like-minded people, a platform for heated debate and discussions, a source of a huge amount of interesting new information. Everyone there behaves as they please, because their faces are not visible and therefore nobody is ashamed of anything. Recently in Russia, as well as in other civilized countries, the tendency to revise social network pages before hiring a new employee has increased among employers. Some say (usually supervisors) that it is a reasonable necessity, while others strongly oppose this and argue that these actions violate human rights (of course, it is usually thought by employees), the rest find the idea of trying to get to the truth by prying in somebody’s personal affairs to be doubtful and useless. Which one of these opinions is true?
Why is there need to check in the first place?
Employers are not inclined to trust the word of a person who really wants to get money from them. To get a good job many can shamelessly lie. Somebody will say that he or she is fluent in five languages, which to a person who only learned German at school is not so simple to test. Somebody will say that for a few years they worked unofficially as the head of a large company. And the employer needs a professional hardworking experienced employee who will benefit a company and bring profit, and will not waste time. To somehow reassure themselves before hiring an untested applicant, employers have come up with the idea of paying attention to social networks, where a psychological portrait of a person is clearly shown and where often a real educational background and work experience of a user are indicated.
Is there any point in these check-ups?
Of course there is. It sometimes so happens that a liar gives him/herself away by showing on the page their real education and previous places of employment. But the probability of this is not so great. Much more important is what an employer can learn about the interests and opinions of a potential employee. To a person who posts funny anecdotes and photos of his/her child on a social media page the above statement may seem strange and even stupid. But unfortunately in our country there are still many individuals of a questionable moral character. Nowadays there are passionate Nazis who post praising to Hitler without the slightest hesitation and hate the Jews. Is it possible to hire such a person to a position that involves working with people? Can such a person be a doctor? How will he or she be perceived in a work team? Is it even morally correct to hire such person?
And what if there are clear signs of sexual addiction in a person and the entire page is littered with pictures of naked women? And we are talking not about images of high artistic value but about pornographic pictures. It is most likely that an executive (especially if it is a woman) won’t be willing to hire someone who will lustfully stare at female employees. Besides if a person expects to take a higher position that requires an appropriate intellectual level continuous self-improvement and curiosity for new knowledge it is likely that he or she will post useful information on social media as oppose to spreading funny cartoons written with grammatical mistakes and lacking any semantic load. How much time a person spends idly at the computer what are his or her interests in the spare time, which life goals a person pursues and what are his or her true levels of upbringing and education - all these questions can be answered by social networks. And we can’t help but agree that these very questions are being asked by any employer at any job interview with a potential employee.
What's wrong with social networks check-ups?
Sometimes employers can get carried away by studying someone’s life and character and cease to distinguish private life from work. Why would you care much about an employee’s behavior and character if all he or she does is just sitting at the desk and filling out papers? But if a negative portrait has already been formed about a person this way sometimes you can lose a good hard-working, diligent professional, because your views on life did not match.
Is this legal?
Some claim that a person has the right to privacy and personal space into which employers must not poke their long nose. Managers bother their subordinates enough at the workplace so what will happen if they start controlling employees off-work? Experts are mostly inclined to believe that managers should not be allowed to use an employee’s personal information without his or her permission. People consider social networks to be their personal rooms where they can stay without pants and in dirty socks without being subjected to somebody else’s disapproval and they think that it should not affect their work.
But still the Internet can hardly be called a closed space and people often display all their vices there. Still a person should remain a human being regardless of whether or not his or her employer checks up social media pages. Rudeness dirt and lack of education can still harm you even if you are not registered in any social network.