Of all the blog posts I have written to date, the issue of social media as a recruitment tool and in particular how this impacts on privacy was by far the most emotionally charged. I sort opinion on a wide range of platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to discussion forums on LinkedIn as well as the poll on the blog. The results of the poll were conclusive, with 76% of you voting the German Government is wrong to restrict the use of social media in hiring.
From the discussion forums the comments were wide-ranging. Some argued for the rights of employers on the basis that if an employer is to make that investment in you then they should have every right to know as much as they can about you before making that (expensive) decision. There was an over – riding sense that references are worthless. The world is now so litigious and very few are prepared to offer any decent insight or opinion with respect to an employees performance, behaviour and attitude in the workplace. Social media has given employers the opportunity to open the window and peer in to a prospective hires world and employers would appear to be appreciative of that opportunity.
Many on the employees side argue that the gap between professional and private is becoming ever more blurred. There is in some cases resentment from employees that employers should even consider “snooping” on what takes place away from the workplace. However the over – riding consensus was that we have a choice. We can choose what to publish, we can choose what remains private and what is for public consumption. We can choose who we connect with, who we engage with and who we have as friends.
It would appear the majority resent or are at least suspicious of any form of government intervention, mediation or regulation. Employers and employees should have the right to choose. Treat us like grown ups. Some will behave like grown ups, some won’t, but that is their choice. Social media is by the people, for the people. Freedom of choice is good for all.