Business Strategy, Marketing, Innovation, Technology, New Product Management

Facebook Activites Costing Candidates Job Placement

Dec 22nd, 2009 | By Gene A. Wright | Category: General, Information Technology

From Baseline Magazine

Facebook Activities Cost Jobs — Slideshow

The slideshow stands on its own.

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  1. This goes both ways though. Facebook, as these slides state, can also show that you are an interesting, creative person that takes part in community activities or other activities that may be of interest to a hiring manager such as volunteering. It learning to use these social networks as tools that will separate some of the successful job seekers from those that will continue thier search. It is the same learnings that businesses will need to be successful. How to better use these tools to reach those that will impact their bottom lines.

  2. I have heard of people also conducting Google searches on individuals. My friend had a blog and when he started looking for employment he deleted it (it was not professional at all). However, Google has cached versions that were still available to view. I personally I do not post anything that I would not want someone to know.

  3. It’s simple, don’t post something on the internet that you wouldn’t say in a room full of people. The internet is great, but people who forget that you can’t hide on the internet. The mentality is that a person can sit behind their computer and say what ever they want without repercussions. I hire people and have done all of these; google, facebook and twitter searches. My opinion is, if someone is so careless to post irresponsible on the internet, they are at risk with doing that in the workplace.

  4. I personally don’t have a facebook account for this reason. I am curious if employers can still find a person through other people’s facebook accounts where a photo of them may be less than flattering. I can see the flip side, being in touch with more people for professional purposes and establishing relationships to further a career, but from the facebook accounts I have seen, I doubt this is their reason for using it.

  5. I use Facebook and my realm of contacts includes friends, family and co-workers. All three of these groups can see what I post, so I try to be sensitive of who my viewers are. There are tools in Facebook to limit who can view your information, so if someone wants to be crude, dirty, etc. and not have it get to their employer, it can be done. As with life in a work or public environment, people should understand that their reputation comes from those around them.

  6. I struggle with this. Of course if you have pictures of you doing things totally out of line-drugs, naked pictures, etc., that should be a deal breaker. But who among us hasn’t had a picture taken from the one night we were doing something silly? I look at it this way: Facebook-personal, LinkedIn-professional. My twitter account and blog are somewhere in between. For better or worse, we communicate with our networks (friends, family, professional colleagues) a lot through the internet now. It can’t be expected that it would all be straight-laced, buttoned-up stuff. If anyone decided not to hire me because of the semi-political statement I just made regarding our food system on my blog (which I ‘advertise’ on my twitter and FB account), I don’t think I’d want to work for them anyway.

  7. We teach classes on interviewing techniques – how to dress for an interview, which fork to use at an interview luncheon, etc, so Facebook use could be included in this type of class. Social Media Best Practices could also be incorporated into the middle and high school curriculum to better help prepare students and teach them early on how to use these sights in ways that benefit them.

  8. Everyone has the right to their own opinion. But, when you are a manager in a company you need to weigh risks every day. When it comes to new hires, there’s a risk. And you might want to know if someone’s personal views are in conflict with your companies values. Or, just as important, do those views conflict with your business… customers! Just to play the “What if”… What if your semi-political viewpoint was against my largest customer? Would I want you as an employee who may come in contact with that customer?

  9. I think that any professional should not have inappropriate material on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. Anyone can find that information and if you want to be taken seriously you should not have pictures of you doing inappropriate things or saying things that shouldn’t be said. I personally have all three of the accounts I listed and I am very careful with what I say on them. I would never want one of my clients, whom I am friends with on these accounts, co-workers, or potential employers to see me in a negative light. I want to always be considered a professional in my field and for that reason alone I make sure my accounts are 100% appropriate. In this day and age everyone is using the internet as a resource so make sure you’re personal pages are okay for anyone to see!

  10. I agree with jman. You should treat your communications in social media as if you are in a roomful of people. I think possible employers have every right to use every (legal) method at their disposal to screen candidates. It is a huge decision for them, with plenty of risks as pointed out by many people above. Now, I’m not huge user of Facebook – I just agree to friend requests of people I know and don’t post anything. But I do wonder if my lack of use would send a negative message to future employers – that I’m not “current on new technology/media” or that I’m not “creative”.

  11. While I agree that companies should use social network site screening during the hiring process if needed, I think that it has a very minimal impact. I don’t think many people have content posted on their facebook or other sites that would paint a poor picture of themselves. Facebook and other such sites are for networking with friends and other social activities. My view on things is thus: work hard, play hard. I don’t think badly of someone that likes to party in their free time if I know that person to be dependable and hardworking when its game time.

  12. I may be of a slightly different viewpoint… I believe that you should do whatever you need to do on social media.

    If you wish to portray a professional image and are professional; be professional. If you relish the class clown mentality and that’s who you are; be the class clown. DON’T go for sheer shock value for the sake of being shocking.

    Here’s the dilemma, well, at least in my mind. It is up to the viewer to decipher what they are seeing and how that weighs into their decision-making. I’ll use an applicant that has a 4.0 GPA throughout their educational career, as an example. Obviously, a very bright person who is motivated enough to keep up a very high standard for grades. But, do I want this person as my marketer? Maybe they show that they are an outgoing person on their Facebook and that they are well liked. I think I may wish to hire this person. If I’m looking for an Accountant, well, those pictures of doing jello shots at a local strip club (male or female) may warrant a different look. Do I want the possibility of my company’s assets going towards those jello shots?

    Bottom line, be smart about what you post. People WILL judge you on what you put out there for the world to see. Just make sure that you are portraying who you are or wish to be. Even in the wild west (which is what the Web is constantly compared to) had manners and ethics. You should, too.

  13. I think this is an interesting to realize how much social networking sites are becoming a part of the hiring process. It only makes sense that whenever you do any hiring that the more you know about the candidate the better you can acess if they will fit into your company. I actually do some hiring at my job, and if I see a candidate on facebook with innappropriate photos, it will definitely persuade me to pass them up. I think the most neagative content to me is when they bad mouth companies, coworkers because it tells me that they will do it again at your company, and that they have a behavior towards gossiping within the workplace. The obvious thing to say, is dont post anything that can come back to haunt you, and to remember that when posting blogs they say a lot about your values, and not everyone can appreciate your rant of opinions and constant complaining.

  14. Employers are continuing to seek more information on potential candidates. Social networking sites give most employers easy access. Even if your profile is set to private, you may be on friends page tagged in photos. This may only be negative on yourself if you have negative items on these social networking sites. I was recently involved in an employer panel discussion and the employers stated that they always Google a candidates name to see what they can dig up. Potential candidates can do everything in their power to keep their namesake positive to those around them.

  15. It never ceases to amaze me how many people on Facebook have their profile wide open for all to view. If nothing else, lock down your profile when you are searching for a job and have submitted applications.

  16. I am in the boat where if you don’t want someone to see something, don’t make it searchable. Social networking sites give you the option of sharing personal information with people outside your friends list. It goes along with what we talked about in class and tailoring your own brand also. Do you want everyone out there to know that you are the ultimate beer pong champion, if you only want your friends to know, then hide it. However, when you put stuff on the internet, you should realize that even if you “hide” something, if people want to see it badly enough they will find away around it. For example, if you join the milwaukee group on facebook, I can view most of the profiles in that particular group. When you post things, keep in mind your personal brand and who you want people to see you as, especially if you are searching for a job.

  17. An individual should market themselves in a professional manner. This doesn’t mean networking sites are off limits, however, the content within should be filtered for all audiences. Many students graduating from college have acquired a social networking brand that closely relates to their past four years. This includes provocative or inappropriate pictures that are not for all audiences. Individuals using facebook and other social networking sites need to be aware of the repercussions involved with content posted. Especially during periods of job searching.

  18. It’s no secret that many business are using social media sites use social networking as a tool to perform background checks on job candidates. If someone does not have the common sense to not post this kind of material in a public online forum or change their account settings to private, it is someone I don’t want working for me.

  19. This particular post hits home with me. I have not lost a job due to Facebook, but I had the unfortunate effect of needing to explain my college antics to my high school students. I started college as Facebook was opening up to Wisconsin campuses, and I was also coaching high school. A few years later Facebook was open to everyone. Ever since some of those students started browsing my profile a I have tried to keep a watchful eye on what I post, as well as what my friends post.

    On the business end I feel that this completely makes sense. I am a firm believer in that you are always selling yourself, and your company. People react to the individuals that work somewhere even after business hours and shape their views of that organization respectively. With the ease of finding all this information companies owe it to themselves to evaluate it.

    Plus now I have something to show a friend of mine who writes negative updates daily (hourly sometimes) about his employer.

  20. I have mixed feelings about this topic. In some ways I don’t think that employers should be making decisions on a potential employee based on something they saw on Facbook or a similar web-site, but on the other hand people should be smart enough not to make personal information accessible to the world. I view Facebook and a means to stay in touch with friends and LinkedIn as a means for work networking. I think people need to realize how accessible information and photos they place on the internet really are.

  21. I completely agree with this statement. While my friends and I were applying to Graduate Schools, we took down all pictures that may seem inappropriate on Facebook, made our profiles private, and made our names unsearchable on Facebook. It is possible that people may still be able to hack into our profiles, but we all felt more at ease that our futures did not depend on stupid pictures or posts that we had on Facebook. I feel that I constantly hear about employees who write negative comments about their company and end up fired. However, I do not blame the company for firing them. I think it is wise for people to more careful on what they choose to put on their profile. In addition, people are responsible for the pictures and posts that end up on their Facebook.

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