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You’ve Been Tagged! (then Again, Maybe Not): Employers and Facebook

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“You’ve been tagged! (Then again, maybe not): Employers and Facebook”


In today’s fast paced lifestyle social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have become an integral part of everyone’s life. With increasing traffic in these websites, the volume of data shared among users is humungous. People share their personal details like interests, qualification, workplace and even personal photos along with other media files. As a result an individual’s Facebook page chalks out his/her persona. The case in hand puts forth the argument about employers using social media sites like Facebook to gather information about job applicants, thus Facebook account playing a crucial role in the candidate’s selection process.

Facebook’s Popularity

• Facebook’s primary goal was to help people connect with each other, it could be with known people or even strangers across the world.

• It helps people divided by physical distances feel connected, regardless of their age, nationality, race or religion. This developed a sense of community among its users.

• There are numerous examples on Facebook where young people stay connected even after their college and when they have moved ahead in life. Similarly older people feel nostalgic when they connect with an old friend after decades.

• Via Facebook people share their interests, hobbies, movies, music, photos etc, these information portrays the user’s identity and personality.

• The photos and videos shared a person if well received by people earn him likes and as a result makes him popular on these sites. This is seen as an individual’s social success.

The Issue

Along with normal users, even corporate houses have started using Facebook for varied reasons. Creating a Facebook page the firm can stay connected with prospect job applicants, also publish information regarding any major events in the firm. The firms have also started integrating Facebook into their hiring process.

The case lists out various issues in relation to recruiters using Facebook for hiring and judging job candidates based on their Facebook profile. Let’s analyse the issue from the Recruiter and Job applicant’s perspective:

Recruiter’s Perspective

• For a recruiter, hiring a resource is not merely matching the job description with the applicant’s skill sets. The applicant’s personality and behaviour should be in sync with the company’s values and vision.

• While resumes reflects the applicant’s skills and opinion about themselves. Facebook profile gives deeper insights about the candidate. His/her social activities is a reflection of the person’s true personality.

• On Facebook wall, the comments and content left by other users is a very good indicative about what people think about him/her, which actually will give a true picture about the candidate.

• Before taking a final decision about the candidate, these vital information from Facebook can save the recruiter from committing a mistake.

• There could also be roles where in a person needs to be good in networking with people, so a Facebook profile with good number of friends could be good indicator of this.

• Background check is a very important step before the candidate is finalized; information



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