Social media allows users to express themselves and their views, share what’s on their mind and what’s going on in their lives, recommend, comment, debate, and maybe even complain about a company or two. Though, when communicating in such a way, social media users need to be abundantly aware of their online presence, what’s posted on their profile, pictures or posts they’re tagged in, and more.
Employers now have the opportunity to purchase a report of your online activity – anything and everything posted on social and professional networking sites, blogs, wikis, videos and picture sharing sites. And it’s retrievable for seven years.
A driving force behind the online activity reports and monitoring (including after being hired AND sending daily updates to HR) is a company launched in 2010 called Social Intelligence. Social Intelligence’s business model complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (which outlines how employers use background check or credit checks) by only including information that is legally allowable in the hiring process.
While potential employers have been searching candidates longer than ‘Googling’ has been a verb, Social Intelligence now adds a layer of legitimacy. If the employer rules out a candidate based on information found online, the HR manager is required to inform the applicant the reason why they did not get the job – such as an offensive or racist post, sexually explicit picture, or hints of illegal activity.
Anyone using social media or sharing images online, especially those on the market for a job, should be aware of how deep employers are looking and how sophisticated methods are for finding information.
Now that social media is intertwined with our everyday activities, do you think social media users should be allowed to freely express themselves online without regard for professional consequences, or should employers have the right to consider all available information when hiring employees?