Social Media and Working Environment
“Zero-tolerance” is an important aspect of every modern organization, as it stands as one of the major behavioral policies used nowadays. These policies are established for the provision of a productive and healthy environment where anyone can work without the fear of being offended, harassed, insulted, or on the other hand made uncomfortable on a daily basis. Is there any possibility for the Social Media to contribute effectively or adversely to a hostile work environment charge? Basically, the social networking sites provide employees with a new avenue to express themselves, and this includes the expression of discrimination based on different factors ranging from racial slurs to sexual innuendo. (Stroud, 2012) (Social Media Today- Community, 2012) The vast explosion in the popularity of the social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook has caused some lingering issues and also opportunities for employers. Employees persistently tweet and blog, however, the boundaries between the work and the personal lives of employees tend to blur increasingly. In view of this, employers tend to block or impose an outright ban against any access to social networking sites at the workplace, but this does not help solve the problem of “out of work hours” activities and may not be popular. Additionally, employers may lose the opportunity to enjoy the benefits this has to their business. (James, 2011) (Stephen Lilley, 2012)
Every relevant study of corporate communications and the social media report the same findings. Including the demographic information for both audiences and practitioners, are the concepts that contents cannot be continuously and exclusively managed by corporate communications and professionals that are transitioning from pure output to dialogue. And the traditional public relations practitioners gain interests in the use of the social media for marketing. However, there are still concerns and question as to the right way to penetrate this rapidly growing market.
The omnipresence of gadgets and the media permits younger workers to toggle back and forth rapidly between work tasks and still chatter with friends, perform studies or research for projects and diversions on their screens. Thus, making many people wonder at the capacity in which they juggle multiple tasks at the same time.
Social Media and Sociability
Social media activities relate to various beneficial social activities, which includes discussion networks that seem to incorporate people from diverse backgrounds. An example of this is how frequent internet users, and those responsible for the maintenance of a blog tend to trust someone with a different opinion. Those who upload photos online tend to report having an important conversation with someone who is another political party member.
The use of the Internet does not withdraw people from public places, but rather become necessary and operated in places such as the restaurants, parks, and cafes; As well as those locales in which studies have shown that people have the tendency to come across a wider array of people and diverse opinions. Indeed, accessing the Internet has become a common component of the experiences of people within various public spaces.
The impact of the Social Networking Sites (SNS) on the users’ lives is becoming a controversial issue, and thus, a great deal of speculation is increasing with this issue daily. Many fear that the use of SNS can possibly diminish the relationships and contact between humans, and may increase social isolation. Other people exult that the pervasive connectivity utilizing technology will increase people’s storage of social capital and thereby lead to some social payoffs. As most people seem to be using a very small core network of close social ties, those who maintain these ties using social networking services are of a larger segment.
Social Media Opportunities
A major contribution to social networking services such as Facebook provide new opportunities for the maintenance of the core social networks by the users. Core ties tend to be highly important and powerful in the decision making process as well as exposure to opinions, ideas, and issues. This is the reason why members of core network prime targets for interest groups and marketers who probably intend to use the social networking services for the purpose of influencing the decision making process about political opinion or consumer products.
Social Media and Employment
As a job-finding tool, the social media offers a wealth of resources, including immediate access to employee listings and their profile listings.
The popular professional social network – LinkedIn has become a priceless tool recruiters can’t do without. The advanced search techniques on LinkedIn permit HR personnel and recruiters to effectively search for applicants who are qualified based on work experiences, specific skills, location, degree, etc. There are possibilities that they can reach out straightforwardly to the right individuals having the required knowledge and skills, in order to invite them to apply for vacancies that are yet to be advertised. LinkedIn can also be regarded as an invaluable tool for the purpose of visualizing networks that were previously invisible. That is why it becomes much easier for employers to get in touch with networking contacts for recommendations. (Robb C. Sewell, 2011)
- Job Seekers
Job Seekers are those who look for employment in the job market either fresher or already employed person. In order to achieve passive job seeking, online recruiting provides an access to this. In other words, employed individuals who desire a better job can access jobs advertised on the Internet. Intuitively, these job seekers have the tendency of being a better quality since they are not desperately seeking to change their job compared to the active job seekers who is probably frustrated, or those disgruntled workers seeking for a new position. Organizations that seem to use the Internet for advertisement usually own a website that gives potential candidates the opportunities to understand what the organization is all about before making a decision to apply, thereby lowering the incidence time-wasting that may occur through submitting unsuitable applications. Additionally, the website can also be used to encourage potential job seekers to develop an interest in working with the organization.
The spaces provided by job websites are usually unlimited and can be used by the management in order to sell the organization. Another purpose of the website does not limit to posting vacancies, but also to publicize the organization. This will help candidates to better familiarize themselves with the organization, and also know their required skills as well as the organization culture. Above all, the system will provide a better avenue to secure quick responses to any possible job openings. Another major contribution of online recruiting is how it facilitates the decentralization of the hiring function in order to make it possible for other groups in the organization take all responsibility fit for part of the function.
The employer(s) can be defined as a person or group of people in an organization saddled with the responsibility of recruiting new employees or assisting in “hiring” decision making. There is an appreciable variation between different organizations with respect to the range and extent of the support they offer; the factors responsible for shaping provisions and how the organizations’ practice that evolved over the recent years are explored. Most especially in understanding the purpose and range of the intercessions that the organizations out in place, as well as understanding the way in which the other parties and the public sector, such as the trade unions can establish services both in a cooperative relationship with the employers and to also complement those the employers decide to put in place. Therefore, the models employed in this presented analysis, draw greatly on existing studies on UK-based organizations.
Job Hunting in Social Media
The entities associated with Internet navigation are significantly related to the quantity of general job search, particularly for the individuals who desire to explore job options initially; the so called Job Hunting.
The job seekers who combine social media into their job searching process utilize social media and apps to assist their search for a job. Since organization are expanding their hiring process to incorporate the social media, social job searching becomes relatively important, both to post jobs, source for candidates, and to perform a background info search.
Social media marketing has transformed to become a revolutionary communications tool that is rapidly affecting the ways public relations activity is practiced, and it’s becoming an entire part of corporate communications for many organizations. The social media provides public relations practitioners with new option for every ramification of the corporate communications process they employ. Directly from research to assessment, social media tools can best be used to develop and supply reasonable content to wider audiences than just how the traditional media allows it.
The use of common online job web portal is detected as a slightly less effective job search strategy compared to personal networking in the Social Media (Klaas, June, 2002). The information obtained also propose that professionals and managers tend to utilize the Social Media to hunt for job when the geographical range of the job hunt is large, when the main salary increase is longed for, and also when both the small and large organizations are being deemed as potential employers.
Job Hiring Practices in Social Media
Before an applicant is placed to occupy a job position, every organization follows a line of processes towards the recruitment or sourcing the candidates through the use of the social media known as “Job Hiring.”
The only way job hiring can get to a pool of candidates is only through job referrals, job postings, advertisements, and head hunting. Candidates who show interest in any of these measures are then invited for interviews and other strategies of assessment. Basically, the employers probably check the background of every prospective candidate, and also inspect their references. This includes the process where an employer assesses all the information about the entire applicants generated.
Various organizations have taken a step further to initiate similar strategies with background checks in order to get external information as regards the potential job candidates. Organizations also perform all necessary tasks to ensure the protection of their integrity as well as their IT industry by fighting against risks via due diligence and exercising a differentiated degree of care in the process of assessing job candidates and clients. It becomes reasonable to anticipate corporation not to carry out appropriate background checks on any job applicants. The limitation of the liability of selecting the wrong candidates had been taken into careful consideration by these organizations, and the majority of people accept a background check on request during any job application process. Students, as well as future professionals often anticipate prospective companies to ignore information they intentionally place on the Internet when they are evaluated for achievable careers and considerable responsibility within the organization. Many organizations present arguments concerning performing due diligence the moment they try to evaluate applicants depending on personal information, and also the ones found on their online social profiles. Many others agree that it is better to believe individuals who voluntarily and intentionally place their personal and private information on social networking websites should recognize the possibility that employers will be able to access their information and utilize it according to their discretion.
Networking has always mattered in the job search. Employers have consistently found that referrals were their most reliable source of qualified applicants and have generally turned first to their networks to find external hires. Social media tools have accelerated this process and made it easier than ever for employers to tap their networks and find the right workers.
At the same time, social media tools also provide job seekers with access to information that they might otherwise not have been able to find that can aid them in their job search. Through online social networking tools, they can identify hiring managers, find “hidden” job opportunities, and discover individuals within their own networks who may be a link to a company or industry that interests them. Social media also provides job seekers with unprecedented opportunities to build an online reputation for themselves, showcasing their talents and skills in ways that are more dynamic and engaging than the traditional resume. Social Media can be helpful to job seekers, career counselors, and educators. These are an increasingly important facet of a well-rounded job search. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, YouTube, as is a quick glimpse of other popular social media tools.
LinkedIn: It is well known that this is the world’s preeminent job-targeted social networking application website. It offers the advantage for companies to search for job candidates and screen them as well, and possibly post job openings as required. LinkedIn allows career seekers the opportunity of promoting themselves and also their abilities, and they can research employers too.
Facebook: This is a social network that allows employers to post different information about their companies and also advertise jobs. Any job seeker can utilize Facebook to boost their work portfolios including their skills, educational background, and skills.
Twitter: Companies use Twitter to highlight several job openings, and then provide a link where people can access the companies’ website to view the job description in detail and more information on applying for desired positions. In the same way, job seekers have the opportunity to use Twitter to uniquely brand themselves as subject matter experts, and therefore create curiosity from potential employers. In addition to this, job seekers can also access their networks directly in order to search for jobs.
Blogs: This is very effective for building an online work portfolio in order to show the level of a candidate’s skills and knowledge. Blogs are very easy to develop and maintain, but require total commitment and ample time from the blogger (the person who writes the blog). On the other hand, job seekers have the opportunity to network directly into blogs of the experts in their similar field by posting comments, and also contributing in any discussions. An advantage to this is its less resourcefulness than just starting a blog, and a perfect way to show great skills and tap into an already developed online community.
YouTube: This is a video sharing site which provides the opportunity for job applicants to display what they’ve got as well as their professional background via the use of video resumes.
Social Media Use by Job Seekers
LinkedIn – LinkedIn allows job seekers to create a professional online resume with keyword optimization potential and readily available recommendations. Job seekers can use LinkedIn to research companies they are interested in and see how their education compares with current employees, how often employees at the organization switch job titles (indicating potential for growth), and if anyone in their network works at the organization or knows someone who does.
Facebook – Job seekers benefit from keeping their Facebook profiles professional and projecting a positive online image during the job search. Job seekers can let their Facebook network know they are looking for employment and feature work products and links to other online portfolios in their profile.
Twitter – Users can brand themselves as experts in their fields by sharing timely and useful information on Twitter related to their career interests. Job seekers can also optimize their Twitter bio to increase the likelihood of being contacted by recruiters or showing up positively in Internet search results when being evaluated by potential employers. (Savannah Barnett, 2011)
Social Media Use by Employers
Basically, the major practices of hiring job seekers by employers include the following:
- Interviewing and
- Reference checking
These are the main routine processes they take for employment purpose. The decisions made during employment encompass the outcomes or result employers generate to determine the possibility of a potential employee suitable for their desired position.
LinkedIn – Many organizations depend on LinkedIn to source for candidates, to also post job openings, and to ensure employees and interested job seekers are well informed of the company news and information. Recruiters can use keyword searches in LinkedIn to find candidates and invite them to apply for jobs. Here job seekers, current employees, and company alumni can network, ask questions of each other, and be alerted to current job postings.
Facebook – Many organizations are using Facebook as a customer service tool through company “fan” pages, but businesses are increasingly creating “careers” pages.
Twitter – Numerous companies use Twitter to announce jobs and direct people back to their company Web site to find full job descriptions and to apply. Recruiters use Twitter to talk about the company and scout Twitter users who might be good candidates for the organization. (Savannah Barnett, 2011)
The number of social media is large, growing, and constantly changing. Many other social media sites can be used for the job search purposes which are not mentioned here. This is because; they are not famous in the Sriankan context. Blogs can be used to build an online portfolio of work and show expertise. Slideshare is another helpful tool where users can upload presentations they have given or even build a power point based resume, showing creativity and increasing the positive search results for the job seeker’s name. Video and photo sharing sites, such as Flickr and YouTube can be used in a similar fashion to showcase skills and talents visually.
Social media extends beyond the World Wide Web to mobile applications available for use on Smart Phones and PDAs. For example, mobile versions of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are available.
Specific implications for employers incorporate more on the availability of background information on possible employees that shows that the character may be readily available through the social media. Sources may be provided regarding the potential applicants meeting the organization’s expectations. The social media may also provide an available recruiting source for the potential employers, and this can be used as a recommendation source for those job applicants and professionals deem it fit to take advantage of the social networks to benefit their organizations. (Budden, 2009)
The Social Media is a true depiction of digital communication technologies. Typically, it heightens academic achievements, and gives value to academic scholars. (Grudin, 2009). The previous restriction placed on social media in universities motivated the interests among professional. Towards the end of 2005, the workers of some major organizations were granted access to use Facebook. After a year, it became accessible to everyone. However, LinkedIn was based on a professional use from the onset. (Grudin, 2009). Furthermore, IBM’s Social Computing research group has taken the responsibility to examine the use of social networking software by professionals. Basically, they observed three categories of Facebook profiles of growing professionals going from college to workplace, this includes “Reliving the College Days,” which incorporates personal information, use of the Wall, informal status messages, and non-professional images; where people “Dressed to Impress,” primary job-related information along with formal images and some personal information; “Living in the Business World,” restricted profiles evidently from new Facebook users (Grudin, 2009). Apparently, LinkedIn concentrates on professional information, promoting the interests of users to develop an abbreviated CV and to create good connections. This helps create a strictly professional profile, with little or no information about political or religious affiliations, hobbies, books or movies included, or even favorite music. People can tap and make available recommendations from other users in order to control and manage how much of their profile can be shown to the public as well as connections. One important notion is that users can explore a typical direct connection of their connections. Additionally, paying users are enabled to search for LinkedIn users who meet certain occupational or related characteristics, which can be useful or consultants or recruiters. Similar to curriculum vitae, the LinkedIn page of a user is relatively static aside from new connections. (Grudin, 2009).
The advancement in technology has enabled human resource managers to be increasingly inundated with respect to new sources of information. Primarily, the Internet plays a major role in the distribution of this information. The social media offer the opportunity for people to post information so that they can communicate with their family and friends. (Ross, 2012) On the other hand, the social media and also related applications give recruiters the opportunity to conduct a wide range of background checks. Broadly speaking, there are various ways the social media help to facilitate learning at the workplace. First, there is possibility to substantially enrich lengthy formal programs, such as postgraduate and professional qualifications as well as management development programs with the use of the social media as a vehicle for current group collaboration. Several organizations are enjoying the benefits from the use of forums to elaborate issues, and learn from the ideas shared, blogs as also learning journals, and wikis which help focus for group collaborative projects, without mentioning the use of videos and podcasts for research sharing. (Shepherd, 2011).
In a proposed study to be published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, various researchers took a step to make some findings from a university professor and precisely two students spent about ten minutes searching through the profiles of employed college students on Facebook. A series of personality-related questions were asked about those students as to whether they feel the students were emotionally stable or self-reliant. Six months later, these researchers acquired performance reviews of those students and took comparison to those reviews with the previous Facebook assessments. The outcome, therefore, was that there was a high correlation between the perceptual experiences obtained from Facebook profiles and their individual performance at work. Indeed, the evaluations obtained from Facebook proved to be totally accurate compared to the traditional personality tests companies employed to gauge prospective employees. (Business Time, 2012) .
Those who take on managerial positions in any organization have the tendency to have several contacts with other employees and managers when conducting their day-to-day job tasks. Subordinates may choose to possess intense social relations with the managers and may decide to improve their social relations by enhancing the frequency of social interactions with them due to managers’ legitimate basis of power.
The purposes of this study stresses more on a simplified definition of employers in which they could be a person or a group of people in an organization saddled with the responsibility to carry out decision making process, or assist in making any hiring decisions. While job seekers are people who express their desire to gain employment by submitting their application for a required job opening with an employer. The practice of hiring includes various steps that employers utilize to make sure that the best candidate is hired for a certain job opening. As seen before, the practice is based on the four major steps which include; firstly recruiting the individual, then screening takes place, after which the individual is invited for interview and then reference checking takes place. Therefore, these decisions are employment decisions and it surrounds the outcomes that employers take to determine the right candidate suitable to fit their desires.
On-line applications and Recruiting on the internet
The major advantages of using the Internet is the fact that is less expensive and faster compared to traditional methods of recruiting. Several job opportunities can be posted on the Internet for a considerable amount (less than it is in the print media), and can last for many days, say thirty or sixty days or even more without additional costs, and the availability is for twenty-four hours daily. Any interested candidates can view these detailed information about the job offer, and the organization can respond directly electronically. Many workplaces and homes have taken computerized equipment for their communicative use; the Internet is increasingly becoming the best method of choice where information can be accessed and shared. First-time job seekers have the tendency to search websites for any related job postings compared to perusing the newspapers, journals, and magazines. The advent of advertising has made everything easier. Nowadays, the Internet increases the speed of the hiring process in three primary stages:
On-time job postings
In previous times, people have to wait for a suitable date, time, and prominent place in the print media, fortunately, this has been eliminated. There is a considerable amount of time lags existing between the submission of information to a media house and its presence in print disappears. The Internet has been the household of stored information where the advertisement appears on request in the fastest turnaround time, and can be easily accessible for as long as the recruiter wants it to.
Immediate applicant response
Any job posted on the internet by recruiters can be responded to via the same medium by the job applicant on the same day.
Rapid processing of resumes
An attached résumé using the electronic medium can be immediately processed, receive an acknowledgement, go through the screening process electronically, and all details related to the application and the résumé can be dispatched to various managers at the same time.