By definition, business ethics relates to the rules of conduct acknowledged by the society at large. It is often shaped by the nature of the industry and also moral beliefs that individuals possess.
Wei Jie contributed a valuable point in stating that “there is no privacy online”. For certain, the nature of the virtual space makes it hard for an individual to exert power over the influence of information he has posted online. As we see often how traces of digital presence is an indication of an individual’s personality, it might be ethical for HR recruiters to employ social media screening when hiring. Reason being is that with technology, organizations will be able to hire the right people more effectively within the legal boundary.
On the other hand, the original intentions of the regulations on Silviana’s blog may be undermined with the use of social media during recruitment. As much as organizations aim to be a “equal opportunity employer”, traces of information that should not be used in hiring may be seen online and this might affect the recruitment judgment.
(Falmouth Institute, 2012)
Constance’s research on different behaviours that were ethical from the perspective of the employees brought up the possibilities that why some behaviour may be ethical from their views and yet unethical from the view of an organization. Perhaps employees have the tendency of linking moral beliefs to what they consider as ideal “business ethics” but an organization will view ideal “business ethics” in the interests of an organization.
A poll conducted among my friends on my Twitter showed a large percentage that felt unethical for employees to monitor their social media activities. Comments of how they felt that social media is their privacy tells the possibility of a separate professional and private online profile and they feel that it is morally wrong for employers to monitor their private online profile (regardless of the intentions).
Therefore, I suppose it will be ethical to use social media in HR functions provided that there is transparency in these policies and they are communicated well to employees. Organization may establish proper social media screening or monitoring procedures which ensure accurate assessment of the candidates and a reputable online image.
Falmouth Institute, (2012). Ethics & Morals. [image] Available at: http://www.falmouthinstitute.com/training/unscheduled/gv/GV007.html [Accessed 11 Nov. 2015].