5 things your employer could be tracking on your social media
We live in an era where an individual’s online behaviour and footprints reveal more about him or her than they might want. A recent survey said that Indian employees spend nearly a third of their time on social media during work hours. Naturally then, organizations would be concerned and want to know what their people are doing online.
In July this year, newspaper reports suggested that the Indian government planned to prevent its employees from posting social media posts critical of any government policy or action. The government is not alone, many private corporations also prescribe rules and guidelines for social media conduct for their employees. The fear of reputation damage is so high that some of them have become extremely vigilant of what their workforce is doing online.
You don’t even have to be existing employee for your social media usage to be tracked; an organization you have applied to for a job may also want to know more about you through your online behavior.
Below are a few critical areas that an existing or would-be employer could be tracking on your social media:
Social networking profiles: Organizations with social media policies and guidelines will want to keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles of their employees to see if the set rules are not being violated. Other organizations may simply do this to understand your work-life balance and to see if you are facing any work related issues that may find a vent online. In many cases, your colleagues are friends on your social profiles and they may flag any concern to the HR department.
Religious, racial or political inclinations: Many individuals carry strong religious or political inclinations and do not hesitate to share extreme viewpoints. Such behavior could even cost them their jobs, as US Mayor Beverly Whaling recently learnt to her chagrin, after her unpleasant comment on the US First Lady Michelle Obama.
Soft skills: Particularly relevant for prospective hires; hiring managers at would-be employers would want to observe how you express yourself, and how you deal with people online. Your online posts and comments could be grounds to make inferences as to whether you have the necessary soft skills, including networking and people management.
Networking skills: A prospective employee’s online connections can be a powerful window for organizations to understand how well networked he or she could be. Most companies view a well-connected employee as an asset as there are chances that the employee could create and convert business opportunities from her online connections.
Contributions to communities: Whether you are a programmer or a marketing or HR executive, your contribution to relevant online communities like StackExchange, Quora or CiteHR could also be tracked by existing as well as prospective employer to better gauge your skills, knowledge, and your ability to contribute as a team member.
According to a recent media report, social media plays a crucial role in the hiring process today with over 94 percent recruiters using LinkedIn to recruit new candidates, while 79 percent of job seekers use social media to find new jobs. In fact, some advanced HR tools now offer social search; allowing prospective employers to discover ideal candidates through social media profiles. For employees and job seekers, the message is clear – what you do on social media may have a lasting impact on your career.
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