Strike the right balance when utilising social media for recruitment

There is simply no denying the unprecedented manner in which social media has changed the way in which people communicate for personal and professional reasons. Recent research by marketing and PR agency, Eurocom Worldwide, reflects that Facebook has long since reached human resources echelons, as 40% of businesses going through the recruitment process look at the profiles of applicants. This increasingly widespread practice is a matter of grave concern for hundreds upon thousands of jobseekers, they might never have given a second thought to the fact that the photographs considered quite the norm amongst their immediate circle of family and friends are likely not to be looked upon as such playful camaraderie by potential employers.

The privacy debate about social media sites, and indeed about information posted by individuals on the internet in general, rages on as new situations arise and benchmarks are set. Therefore, it is doubly difficult for employers, employees and would-be employees to understand what is acceptable and what is not in terms of social media usage in the workplace and outside, as there is no specific employment law to clarify the whys and wherefores.

For job applicants, the use of social media by businesses to which they have applied for potential employment is a completely unknown quantity, but something which they should be aware of. For employers and their human resources representatives, there is little to prevent them from using social media when recruiting, though they must remain on the right side of employment law relating to equality if doing so.

At NorthgateArinso, we specialise in the provision of human resources services, ensuring that businesses operate well and truly within the boundaries of employment law. Whilst social media remains something of a grey area, our expertise helps to make it a little more black and white for numerous businesses for whom it is an increasing concern.

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