Employers Check Social Media Before Hiring

The social media has become a notable element in the current employment practices of many employers. Some of such online platforms embrace emails, blogs, personal websites, bulletin boards, chat rooms, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube among others (Morgan & Davis, 2013; Vroman, Stulz, Hart, & Stulz, 2016). The fact that many employers resort to the social media in order to decide on one’s suitability for the position has promoted controversies regarding the novel, practical and legal issues associated with the problem (Vroman, Stulz, Hart, & Stulz, 2016). When a determination based on one’s use of the social media leads to the denial of employment, it is clear that the affected person has lost the job due to inappropriate sharing of information in the media (Sunnucks, 2014; Vroman et al., 2016). However, the human resources representatives in different companies may not avoid legal liability for relying on information obtained from the social media while making the employment decisions (Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015; Vroman et al., 2016). The key communities involved in the issue are employers, employees, as well as the judiciary; even though there are different viewpoints concerning the matter, the evaluation can depend on one’s personal understanding.

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Vital Communities involved in the Issue

Employers are among the communities participating in the dilemma of using the social media to judge the suitability of employees. Organizations resort to the social media for various purposes, namely marketing and internal communication (Vroman et al., 2016). Moreover, corporations engage in social media searches to acquire information about prospective staff members not relying on the candidate’s application or CV. Thus, these inquiries may significantly influence the employment decisions, and this is likely to attract legal implications (Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015). However, apart from the lawsuits when firms incorporate the use of social media in the hiring process, there is a risk of the eroded image due to the sentiments that the business does not employ workers in a fair manner. In this case, the employers find themselves at the crossroads, as they may not be sure whether it is right or wrong.

The employees and the general community are also part of the dilemma since the employment decisions affect them. Staff members log in the social media such as Linkedin to post their useful information with the aim of securing their jobs, and by means of targeting their potential employers (Vroman et al., 2016). Additionally, the workers use the platform to communicate with peers about social matters as well as to air their views regarding the current events that influence the society. (Vroman et al., 2016). Therefore, these two scenarios create a dilemma for the employers whether their companies should rely on the data from social media or not.

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The legal community comprising of the judiciary and law societies is also part of the dilemma since legal issues concern them. The social media unites employers and employees. For instance, the LinkedIn allows job seekers to post much of their information including social aspects such as religion and race; thus, it is not unlawful for employers to read it (Vroman et al., 2016). However, the decision of the firm based on the information is critical, but it may be hard to prove that the employer did wrong. For example, an individual may file a claim that the employer denied them a job due to their religion and in defense, the employer may assert that religion was not a key factor in the commitment (Morgan & Davis, 2013; Vroman et al., 2016). Hence, this scenario would create a perplexing puzzle, as it would be complicated to determine which of the two parties is right. In this regard, judges and lawyers face a dilemma related to the usage of social media in the employment decisions.

Different Points of View Regarding the Issue

Some people advocate usage of social media information by organizations to determine candidate’s suitability for the job. The argument behind this view is that no law prohibits employers from accessing the data of one’s social media profile to make decisions connected with recruitment (Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015). People who lose jobs because of the social media are to blame for the woes since the virtual personality they display to their employers via online networking may prove that they are incompetent (Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015). The incompetence may include rudeness, poor communication skills, vulgarity, and provocative behavior, which may not be fit for a workplace (Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015). In this regard, employers make no mistake using social media to in the hiring process, but individual job seekers need to mind what they post on their virtual accounts.

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The opponents of the influence of social media on employment decisions also have a significant point to argue. The critics state that even though there is no law, which would ban employers to use the data obtained from the online networks, it is wrong of them to use the information if it does not directly relate to the work description that the potential candidate has to perform in the firm (Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015). The critics further support their ideas by claiming that the social media cannot portray an individual’s information that is important in determining his/her suitability for a workplace; therefore, such facts should not be considered (Nguyen, 2014; Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015). In this regard, the opponents of this perspective feel that employers should not refer to social media information to determine one’s aptitude.

Personal Evaluation of the View

It is justified for the companies to rely on information available in the social media to make employment decisions but with some issues taken into account. Firstly, employers should not use someone’s information to deny them a job due to a legally protected class such as race, religion, and ethnicity among others. Secondly, the firms should only stick to personality issues since they can identify unwanted behaviors, particularly excessive drinking but it may be hard to define the latter. Thirdly, organizations must set uniform standards for evaluating people based on social media information to eliminate bias. Lastly, it may be advisable that the enterprises seek for an independent person to assess the social media information in order to avoid prejudices in decision-making. Therefore, using the data from social media by employers is justified, but some measures should be implemented to guarantee sanity.

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Conclusion

The social media has risen to influence the employment decisions. Some of the platforms that supply employers with information include Facebook and Twitter among others. However, reliance on the social media data may attract legal implications. The essay has explored the key communities involved in the issue, different viewpoints as well as the personal evaluation of the problem. The employers are part of the dilemma since they may resort to online networking to identify suitable workers. The judiciary and lawyers are also the parties to the controversy since they handle lawsuits associated with the matter. The employees are another party to the issue since they search for jobs, and social media information, which impacts employment decisions affects them. There are different perspectives on this question; thus, some people support the use of social media information while others oppose it. The social media still may play a significant role in employment decisions but some restrictions are to be imposed to ensure fairness.

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