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Social media, nowadays, is an emerging trend and possess the biggest influence on the personal and professional lives of the individuals. It has become the important part of shopping, education, electronic mails, and business tool. Social media is found to be the most influential medium in the organizational practicing. Hence, in this assignment, the main focus will be investigation of different parameters that impacts the usage of social networking on the organizations, as well as, the individuals. The different aspects of social networking on the individuals, businesses, and society will also be described along with the pros and cons of the social networking usage.
The Internet has offered a paradigm for the purpose of communication, as well as, has empowered a large number of individuals to network socially and communicate beyond the boundaries of the geographical proximity. There has been a movement of social networking sites from a niche process towards the mass adoption. The social networking sites are used as a platform for recruitment by the employers and sharing information by the employees. How right is the use of social networking sites by the individuals for the business purpose and to what extent they can use and share the information is the main purpose of this essay.
It has been observed that online websites for social networking have gained popularity, especially amongst the youths. Facebook is seen to be the most popular and used social networking site, which lets individuals connect with the friends, family, and acquaintances. It has been found that social networking sets are most used websites by the people after the search engines. As social networking sites are progressing and becoming popular day by day, various employers are utilizing the sites for their hiring processes and taking advantage of them (Brown and Vaughn, 2011). The organizations are observed to use these sites for checking the background of the people who are their applicants. As the popularity of Facebook is increasing, so has the employers’ number for using Facebook as an assessment tool for hiring the job candidates. It has been observed that the primary reasons for using Facebook for examining the applicants is the large number of resumes generally obtained for the open positions, as well as, the ability of gaining knowledge about the candidates in an easy manner. However, the usage of the social networking sites for hiring purposes can become a risk for the job seekers (Drouin et al., 2015).
As per the US survey consisting of 2,667 human resource professionals, about 45 percent of the HR professionals check the social networking profiles of the job applicants before hiring (Broughton et al., 2009). Moreover as per the CareerBuilder survey 2013, which was conducted online in Canada and the United States, the polling of 5,518 job seekers, as well as, 2,775 hiring professionals was done. The results showed that around 44% of the professionals research the applicants on the Facebook, and about 27% monitors the Twitter accounts of candidates before hiring. Based on the screening of the social networking profiles and data available online, about 70% of the recruiters were found to reject the applicants in the United States (Hazelton and Terhorst, 2015). The reason for rejecting these candidates were more based on their lifestyles concerns instead of employment information. The utilization of the data available about the candidates for making decisions regarding his/her recruitment is illegal as per the Fair Work Act and Privacy Act in Australia (Kramar et al., 2014). There are various privacy issues related to the use of social networking sites as a source of recruiting or short listing the candidates. The utilization of the personal information and content by the organizations without the consent and idea of the candidate raises the privacy issues. Moreover, it can affect the job seeking status of the candidate without his/her knowledge of the social networking the reason for rejection (Bohnert and Ross, 2010).
The research have also shown that besides the usage of social networking sites as a screening tool for the job applicants, employers are found to increasingly monitor the online activities on the social networking sites of their current employees (Mikkelson, 2010). On the other hand, the employees were found to share the information related to their work on their social networking profiles. Sometimes the comments or information shared by the employees can adversely affect the organization and can breach the privacy of the organizations (Fox and Moreland, 2015). For instance, the United Kingdom electronics retailer called HMV in January 2013, laid off large number of staff members along with the online marketing, as well as, social media planner of the company, who was involved in live-tweeting her and the dismissals of other employees (Ladbury, 2013). The use of the social sites by the employers and the employees raises privacy issues. As there is invasion of privacy in both the cases, which can lead to the adverse circumstances. As for employees, screening of their profiles and utilizing it as a reason for their dismissal or rejection, and for the organizations, any negative comment or feedback about the organization can affect the reputation of the organization (I.Powale and D. Bhutkar, 2013).
Though the employees, mostly the youth, feels that it is their right to share what they want on their profiles, is the usage of social networking sites by the employers the appropriate thing. As the youth feels it their right to use their profiles according to them, the employers can also have the right of utilizing it for their business purposes. However, this is not the right thing to do. Both the employees and the employers need to understand the boundaries of using social networking sites and how they can use these profiles without breaching or raising any privacy issues. Several ethical questions related to the privacy arises along with the degree of relevance and appropriateness for the employers to gather information about the private lives of the job applicants and their workers (Mikkelson, 2010). As it was observed during the US survey that majority of the reasons for the rejection of the candidates were lifestyle-based instead of the information related to the employment. For instance, about 53 percent during the survey offered reasons of finding inappropriate or provocative information or photographs on the social sites for rejecting the candidates. The job applicants, on the other hand, are unfamiliar with the fact that their social profiles and the information or content on it is the reason for their rejections (Broughton et al., 2013).
Various surveys have noticed based on the response of the individuals that the employees possess the confused and mixed attitude towards the usage of the social networking. They see the social networking sites to be something that is not the right of their employers to consider the social profile, but agreeing that using and sharing information on the profiles is their personal matter and they have right to discuss anything about their jobs or personal lives on social profiles (Drouin et al., 2015). The report by My Group Job cited that when the participants were asked about their feelings on knowing that they have declined or rejected on the basis of their social networking profile. Around more than 30 % of them stated that they would have outrageous or angry feeling and will think of taking action against them, while about 28 % of them reported that they would have become angry, but no further action would be considered. Moreover, about 24 % of the respondents showed that they would have felt frustrated and does not think the reason for rejection to be fair (Broughton et al., 2013). Hence, the use of social media sites is considered to be inappropriate according to the employees.
Though social networking sites are seen as an easy way of gathering information about the candidate and knowing him/her better, it is not the right way of screening and hiring the candidates. The recruitment by the organizations through social networking sites can lead to the encouragement of the often-cited biases related to the recruitment process like gender, age, and ethnicity (Hazelton and Terhorst, 2015). As reported by the large number of HR professionals, inferences about the candidates can be made from the profile pictures of the candidates on the Facebook. Moreover, it has been noticed that the use of social networking sites for supporting recruitment processes is not the appropriate practice by the HR professionals (Drouin et al., 2015). And in case, if the organization is claiming to have equal opportunities through the recruitment process, it would weaken the equality of access as employers would be familiar and be able to distinguish some of the job applicants in comparison to others whether in a positive or negative sense. Hence, the usage of the profiles of the candidates on the social networking sites is considered as the bad practice by the employers, as many of the rejections are on the basis of candidate’s lifestyle concerns rather than employment criteria and qualifications (Pate, 2012).
There are various HR professionals who bans the use of social network profiles for monitoring and screening the recruits. For instance, the UK’s HMRC did not account the profiles of the candidates on the social media during their process of recruitment. The organisation possess strict procedures for vetting and application through which the selected candidates must pass, so utilization of the social media sites does not add the greater influence on the organization’s screening process (Broughton et al., 2009). Hence, with the increasing evolution of the social networking sites and permeation of these sites to the workplace in various aspects, it is very necessary to understand, implement, and develop expectations for both the employers and the employees to assure a positive and fair environment (Sánchez Abril, Levin and Del Riego, 2012).
Due to the progressive evolution of the internet, as well as, social media it has been widely used by the organizations and the individuals. Moreover, the new web-based advancements and technologies are widely used for the work associated activities. Though the social networking sites are increasingly used by everyone in the present times, the employers can use this opportunity for benefiting the organization and turning the situation to win-win scenario (Kumar, Sharma, and Yadav, 2014). Besides using social networking sites for recruitment purposes, the social networking sites are observed to the platform for marketing and promoting businesses. It has been observed that some of the employers work in collaboration with the employees for promoting their organization and creating positive influence through various blogs and content shared by the employees on the social networking sites (Timm and Duven, 2008). It has been observed that many organizations utilize social network sites for building community in an organization and utilizes this as an effective means of attaining purposes. Many employers use the platform of social media and social networking sites for supporting their efforts in the organizational change and management. Moreover, some of the organizations use the social media as a means of allowing their employees to keep their viewpoint and deliver feedback related to the organization to their senior management (Friedl and VerÄiÄ, 2011). Thus, by implementing strategic implications and utilizing social media sites in the most efficient manner, the employer can benefit the organization to the maximum.
The employers by allowing the employees to share the information about the organization through the means of blogs on their profiles can help in advertising and showcase the positive points and latest trends in the organization. The employer can utilize the social networking sites for showcasing the benefits, as well as, the culture of the organization to the outer world. Moreover, social media can be used as a platform for communication between the stock holders and the company (Väyrynen, Hekkala, and Liias, 2013). Social networking sites are used by many employers for promoting their organization either through advertisement or other measures. For instance, in case the organization has developed a new brand, the employer can utilize the platform of social media to establish the existing brand in the market and can provide the business a new voice. Through strategic implications, the social media can be the means of promoting the organization (Roberts and Roach, 2008). Many social networking sites such as LinkedIn aids the business through connecting the employers with the experts and individuals who can develop and share the strategic plans with the organization. The social networking sites through appropriate means can be utilized by the employers for connecting with the clients. Hence, the employer can positively use the social networking sites for creating a win-win situation for the organization by the strategic and appropriate HRM practices within the organization (Kim, Kim, and Nam, 2013).
Social networks tend to function via social networking sites in the online environment and are the technology which enables the individuals to set up their personal profiles, provides a platform for linking to the different profiles of the individuals, and allow navigation, as well as, interaction with the other people present in the social network. The linking of different profiles together have the ability to connect people irrespective of their geographical locations (Bataineh, Al-Abdallah, and Alkharabsheh, 2015). Social networking enables the individuals to articulate and develop their relationship with others and can result in potential benefits of improving collaboration, as well as, sharing information, enhanced communications and productivity among coworkers, customers, and business partners (Hormes, 2016).
It has been evident that social networking sites have both the negative and positive impacts on the personal and professional lives of the individuals. Where social networking sites can be used as a platform for sharing expertise and promoting businesses, the same can provide the negative impact on the job seekers. By clear understanding of the boundaries, privacy issues, and the extent to which the information can be shared and used for professional purposes, the negative impacts of the social networking sites can be minimized. Both the employer and the employee should able to understand the privacy, legal, and ethical issues that may arise by the usage of the social networking sites.
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