Social media use in hiring

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Social media use in hiring refers to the examination by employers of job applicants' social media profiles as part of the hiring assessment. Some employers use social media as a tool to screen prospective employees.

Ethical implications[edit]

This issue raises many ethical questions that some consider an employer's right and others consider discrimination. Except in the states of California, Maryland, and Illinois, there are no laws that prohibit employers from using social media profiles as a basis of whether or not someone should be hired.[1] Title VII also prohibits discrimination during any aspect of employment including hiring or firing, recruitment, or testing.[2] Social media has been integrating into the workplace and this has led to conflicts within employees and employers.[107] Particularly, Facebook has been seen as a popular platform for employers to investigate in order to learn more about potential employees. This conflict first started in Maryland when an employer requested and received an employee's Facebook username and password. State lawmakers first introduced legislation in 2012 to prohibit employers from requesting passwords to personal social accounts in order to get a job or to keep a job. This led to Canada, Germany, the U.S. Congress and 11 U.S. states to pass or propose legislation that prevents employers' access to private social accounts of employees.[108]

Many Western European countries have already implemented laws that restrict the regulation of social media in the workplace. States including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin have passed legislation that protects potential employees and current employees from employers that demand them to give forth their username or password for a social media account.[3] Laws that forbid employers from disciplining an employee based on activity off the job on social media sites have also been put into act in states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, North Dakota, and New York. Several states have similar laws that protect students in colleges and universities from having to grant access to their social media accounts. Eight states have passed the law that prohibits post secondary institutions from demanding social media login information from any prospective or current students and privacy legislation has been introduced or is pending in at least 36 states as of July 2013.[4] As of May 2014, legislation has been introduced and is in the process of pending in at least 28 states and has been enacted in Maine and Wisconsin.[5] In addition, the National Labor Relations Board has been devoting a lot of their attention to attacking employer policies regarding social media that can discipline employees who seek to speak and post freely on social media sites.

If a young person posts photos on social media of themselves using drugs, this could adversely affect their chance of getting some types of jobs.

Use of social media by young people has caused significant problems for some applicants who are active on social media when they try to enter the job market. A survey of 17,000 young people in six countries in 2013 found that 1 in 10 people aged 16 to 34 have been rejected for a job because of online comments they made on social media websites.[6] A 2014 survey of recruiters found that 93% of them check candidates' social media postings.[7] Moreover, professor Stijn Baert of Ghent University conducted a field experiment in which fictitious job candidates applied for real job vacancies in Belgium. They were identical except in one respect: their Facebook profile photos. It was found that candidates with the most wholesome photos were a lot more likely to receive invitations for job interviews than those with the more controversial photos. In addition, Facebook profile photos had a greater impact on hiring decisions when candidates were highly educated.[8]

These cases have created some privacy implications as to whether or not companies should have the right to look at employee's Facebook profiles. In March 2012, Facebook decided they might take legal action against employers for gaining access to employee's profiles through their passwords.[9] According to Facebook Chief Privacy Officer for policy, Erin Egan, the company has worked hard to give its users the tools to control who sees their information. He also said users shouldn't be forced to share private information and communications just to get a job. According to the network's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, sharing or soliciting a password is a violation of Facebook policy. Employees may still give their password information out to get a job, but according to Erin Egan, Facebook will continue to do their part to protect the privacy and security of their users.[10]

The majority of the states in the US still do not have laws against an employer requiring a current or potential employee to give the employer their username and password. This is a breach of privacy and an encroachment of freedom of speech. A private post on social media should not be a deciding factor for employment as it is taken out of context and is not a direct representative of who the individual is. You are allowed to protest against something you believe is wrong but can be punished by your employer for doing so online.

Impacts[edit]

Use of social media by young people has caused significant problems for some applicants who are active on social media when they try to enter the job market. A survey of 17,000 young people in six countries in 2013 found that 1 in 10 people aged 16 to 34 have been rejected for a job because of online comments they made on social media websites.[11] A 2014 survey of recruiters found that 93% of them check candidates' social media postings.[12] Moreover, professor Stijn Baert of Ghent University conducted a field experiment in which fictitious job candidates applied for real job vacancies in Belgium. They were identical except in one respect: their Facebook profile photos. It was found that candidates with the most wholesome photos were a lot more likely to receive invitations for job interviews than those with the more controversial photos. In addition, Facebook profile photos had a greater impact on hiring decisions when candidates were highly educated.[13]

These cases have created some privacy implications as to whether or not companies should have the right to look at employee's Facebook profiles. In March 2012, Facebook decided they might take legal action against employers for gaining access to employee's profiles through their passwords.[14] According to Facebook Chief Privacy Officer for policy, Erin Egan, the company has worked hard to give its users the tools to control who sees their information. He also said users shouldn't be forced to share private information and communications just to get a job. According to the network's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, sharing or soliciting a password is a violation of Facebook policy. Employees may still give their password information out to get a job, but according to Erin Egan, Facebook will continue to do their part to protect the privacy and security of their users.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ACLU-MN Files Lawsuit Against Minnewaska Area Schools". www.aclu-mn.org. March 2017. Retrieved 2016-11-30.
  2. ^ "Employers, Schools, and Social Networking Privacy". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2016-11-30.
  3. ^ Marche, S. (2012). "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  4. ^ Turkle, S. (2012). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-03146-7.
  5. ^ Burke for Silicon Republic, Elaine (30 May 2013). "1 in 10 young people losing out on jobs because of pics and comments on social media".
  6. ^ Burke for Silicon Republic, Elaine (30 May 2013). "1 in 10 young people losing out on jobs because of pics and comments on social media".
  7. ^ Poppick, Susie (September 5, 2014). "10 Social Media Blunders That Cost a Millennial a Job — or Worse". Money Magazine.
  8. ^ Baert, S. (2015). "Do They Find You on Facebook? Facebook Profile Picture and Hiring Chances" (PDF). IZA Discussion Paper No. 9584.
  9. ^ Matt Brian (23 March 2012). "Facebook May Take Legal Action Over Employer Password Requests". The Next Web.
  10. ^ "Protecting Your Passwords and Your Privacy". facebook.com.
  11. ^ Burke for Silicon Republic, Elaine (30 May 2013). "1 in 10 young people losing out on jobs because of pics and comments on social media".
  12. ^ Poppick, Susie (September 5, 2014). "10 Social Media Blunders That Cost a Millennial a Job — or Worse". Money Magazine.
  13. ^ Baert, S. (2015). "Do They Find You on Facebook? Facebook Profile Picture and Hiring Chances" (PDF). IZA Discussion Paper No. 9584.
  14. ^ Matt Brian (23 March 2012). "Facebook May Take Legal Action Over Employer Password Requests". The Next Web.
  15. ^ "Protecting Your Passwords and Your Privacy". facebook.com.