Mark Zuckerberg once stated that “privacy was no longer a social norm” because he believed that individuals were increasingly comfortable with sharing information online (Johnson, 2010). Indeed, as we see the rise of newer social media applications, it may sound no more than a positive change but it does come with implications. The benefits of the virtual space come with a cost.
(CIPHR (Computers In Personnel Ltd), 2013)
If we zoom in to a more relatable context, the use of social media in HR practices is a debatable question. In terms of hiring, 52% of the organizations review candidates’ social media profiles before making any selection (Kumar, 2015). The use of social media screening across candidates’ online profiles may prove to be a more accurate assessment as it will better indicate his personality through his online behavior. Hereby, an organization will often employ the method to secure the most suitable candidate so as to incur minimal turnover costs.
However, an organization often overlooks at the crux of social media use. Most individuals use it as form of expression and communication and it is inevitable to be able to control everything across his online profile. Once undesirable images or comment is found, HR recruiters’ may alienate him and choose others of a better online profile (Zarif, 2015). He may lose out even though he possesses similar capabilities and qualifications. Like I have mentioned in “The more the merrier?“, the many facets of an individual may not be traced entirely online and therefore social media screening is a question of reliability and validity. The candidate can be unaware that his online profile affects his interview outcome, which brings up the issue of ethical practice of the organization. Is the organization depriving the merit opportunitiy of an individual in the best interests of itself?
Some organizations also employ social media monitoring in order to protect the organization’s reputation. The debate of the amount of control an organization can exert in an individual’s private online behaviour is disputable as one may view it as an intrusion of privacy regardless of the intentions. Although access to an employees’ tweets can also possibly aid the organization in understanding its employees better, we see cases of employees being dismissed due to their nasty comments made on social media accounts (Ronson, 2015). The question of ethics is raised once again when organization seems to deny the freedom an individual can do in the interests of the organization.
CIPHR (Computers In Personnel Ltd), (2013). nfographic: Social Media is Changing Recruitment. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6rGe-XBi9w [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Johnson, B. (2010). Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder. [online] The Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Kumar, S. (2015). Why Monitoring Employees’ Social Media Is a Bad Idea. [online] TIME.com. Available at: http://time.com/3894276/social-media-monitoring-work/ [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Petrone, P. (2014). 4 Ways To Effectively Use Social Media To Screen Candidates. [image] Available at: http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/how-to-effectively-use-social-media-to-screen-candidates [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Magazine&action=keypress®ion=FixedLeft&pgtype=article&_r=3 [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Ted, (2015). Why Privacy Matters. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters?language=en [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].
Zarif, A. (2015). Going Beyond the Law: Hiring Ethics in Social Media. [online] LinkedIn. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/going-beyond-law-hiring-ethics-social-media-afif-zarif [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].