A study performed by the recruiting platform Jobvite has shown 93 percent of employers use social media to screen job candidates before hiring them. It’s unfortunate that the possibility of being hired can be on the line because of something small found on a social media site blown out of proportion. Personal social media accounts shouldn’t be used against an individual when being considered for hire.
In the “olden days,” employers hired people based on the credentials they bring to the table. Today, employers can learn a great bit about a person by simply typing their name into a Google search bar. Searching for personal information about future employees is invasive and unnecessary to determine whether they’re qualified or not.
We all have a right to privacy. Thankfully, most social media accounts give us the option to make things private. However, those who wish to enter the professional world, presumably most people on social media, shouldn’t feel obligated to hide their lives from potential employers. A person’s life is what it is and shouldn’t be concealed in fear they won’t be hired. It’s impractical to tell everyone to do so.
It isn’t fair to use social media profiles to determine whether to hire someone or not because there is a chance an employer will find personal information they don’t agree with. We all have subconscious biases that affect how we feel toward someone and can certainly alter the way an employer views a future hiree. It isn’t equal opportunity to choose to not hire someone because you just so happened to discover they have differing views.
There are times when employers will use minute details against a potential hire. For example, 66 percent of hiring managers have admitted poor grammar and spelling would be used against candidates. Though understandable that an employer would prefer someone more intellectually fit, we all make mistakes. The grammatical errors on my social media accounts shouldn’t play a role as major as grammatical errors on my resume.
I understand it’s important to consider all sides of an individual, especially when considering using them as the face of a company. Nobody wants to see a drunkard representing a business. However, most people should use precautions when posting their activities anyway. Sensible people are aware of what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Social media is a great means of getting a general idea of a person. The reality is someone’s online presence can be far different from who they are in person and their online image shouldn’t be a deterrence from being hired. There’s no reason a personal social media account should be searched.
Chantelle Baker is a 21-year-old communication studies senior from Waipahu, Hawaii.