This is one of those subjects that will be written about for a long time even though it feels like this should be common sense at this point but “Hey!” (as Uncle Si would say). So here is the latest study from On Device Research shows that those between the ages of 16-34 are not NOT getting the message and, more surprisingly, they may not even care.
Ten percent of young people said they knew they were rejected from a job because of their social media profiles, yet 66 percent of young people still don’t seem to care that these profiles may affect their career prospects. The majority of young people cater their social media presence to friends rather than potential employers, according to On Device Research.
The following chart gives some more insight on an international level. The good news for folks in the US is that fewer people seem to think they have been hurt in their job search due to social media activities.
This creates a lot of questions like “Is the idea of employers scanning social media while on the job or while in the job filling process more of a threat than a reality?”. Are people truly looking to social media like they claim they are when trying to determine what sort of person a job candidate is? Are job seekers really that insensitive to the needs of an employer that is paying them in the name of ‘being social’?
These are all online reputation concerns and questions that many are considering but one has to wonder if it is more of the “it’s written about a lot so it must be real” syndrome that plagues a lot of the Internet ‘news’ we read and pass along on a regular basis.
To that end, if employers are merely working off the implied threat of checking someone’s social media activity as part of their job screening process or even a condition of employment that could be trouble. Actually looking at someone’s social media activity can be a valuable insight into what makes a person tick, or possibly makes them a ticking time bomb.
Of course, recent decisions that involve the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and social media activity of employees have provided some legal precedent and protection for workers in certain instances even when their conduct in the social media space was not necessarily something their employers would like to be representative of their organization.
As with most issues in the Internet space there is no cookie-cutter or cut-and-dry answer. Everything is more in the gray scale rather than seen as clearly black or white. As a result there will always be plenty of opinions but strictly defined right and wrong answers may be very hard to come by both now and in the future.
What’s your take?