Tag Archives: social media

Social Media for Recruiting (infographic)


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How Social Media Can Get You Fired – Infographic

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Social Loafing: The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread?

No, social loafing is what most companies feel like they’re doing on social media. This infographic looks at retail sales through social media, and most retailers find them disappointing. What’s the takeaway for all employers? Use your time on social media judiciously. There are better ways to use your time for most things you’re trying to achieve on social media – branding, marketing, recruiting.

What is social media good for? Building relationships. So consider that your main goal, but don’t be surprised if you don’t see a big payoff from these relationships. Consider social media the small talk of the corporate cocktail party.

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(Don’t) Do the Harlem Shake

The Harlem Shake – you know, the ubiquitious dance on YouTube – has garnered lots of views and tons of imitators. People have done the Harlem Shake just about everywhere, it seems, and now it’s starting to attract attention of HR and top brass.


Well, doing the Harlem Shake at work just may violate workplace policy. Recently, a group of passengers performed it on an aircraft, after being given permission by the aircraft personnel, and it launched an investigation into the activity. In Australia, miners were fired for doing it during work hours, for violating safety regulations, and a librarian in Oxford was also recently fired for Shaking on work time.

So what does this tell HR? Don’t dance? No, really it serves as a reminder of placing limits on social media at the workplace. Employers need to set the boundaries for social media in a comprehensive policy, and employees need to be realistic in their expectations of social media usage and dstribution at work. There is also the discretion required on both parts when spontaneous things happen in the workplace – is it appropriate to share these things via social media?

And to help you refine your policy, take a few moments to watch the original Harlem Shake, as well as a few of the creations it inspired! They should help you craft the perfect policy to prevent problems at your workplace.




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Monitoring Employees Online

The internet is a wonderful thing, but privacy is, and always will be, an issue. Employers and employees should be aware that internet infiltration of the workplace occurs before and after a person is hired. In fact, as a recent Market Watch article points out, many employees are being checked out online both before and after they are hired. 

Screening Future Employees

Many human resources professionals use the internet to Google prospective employees. This is done as a background check to help screen out undesirable candidates. However, opinions on the ethics of this choice are mixed. Some feel that this practice is unethical, since it invades a person’s privacy while others believe that is it a way to show that the job candidate was properly checked out, in case problems arise in the future.

If you are planning to use Google before hiring, it is important to remember that you cannot refrain from hiring someone due to his or her protected status. Anything you learn 

about race, gender, religion, national origin, age or other protected details cannot be factored in. The more information you learn about a person through online Googling, the more vulnerable you come to being accused of considering impermissible factors when it comes to hiring. You should, therefore, weigh your choices carefully and restrict your search to limited information necessary to determine if the candidate is a good one. 

Social Networking in the Workplace
Once employees are hired, the Internet searches don’t necessarily stop for many employers. According to the Proskauer Rose report from 2011, approximately 27 percent of companies monitor employees’ use of social networking sites. 43 percent have had to take action concerning the misuse of social media, and 31 percent enacted disciplinary measures because of 


Monitoring an employee’s social media posts to determine if they are sharing confidential information or comments about the company can help you to keep an eye on the press you are receiving, but like with pre-employment monitoring, there are some risks. Most notably, certaintypes of speech on social networks are considered to be protected by the National Labor Relations Act. You cannot fire an employee for certain types of social media behavior, so when you find commentary online and take action, you may be setting your company up for a lawsuit. 

The best way to protect yourself from bad social media postings isn’t necessarily to monitor employees and take action but is instead to be proactive about establishing a clear social media policy so employees will know what their obligations are. 

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Are Paper Resumes Becoming Ancient History?

Years ago when the fax machine was first introduced, it changed the way business was conducted. Other advancements such as email, laptops, and most recently smartphones have made work more efficient. Virtual meetings can take place with people separated by hundreds of miles. Communication is instant and rapid.

For some organizations, paper resumes may fall victim to this trend. More often, people are emailing resumes rather than traditional snail mail. Hiring authorities inundated with stacks of resumes to look through are now looking at other means to gauge an applicant’s employability. 

Not Enough Depth

One problem employers cite is that they cannot gauge how well a person would make a good employee simply by the resume. An applicant’s online presence gives a more complete picture. Many employers can find more about an individual through the use of social media. It provides them with what a person’s knowledge in the company’s field might be. Video presentations can also indicate an applicant’s communication abilities. More applicants are recognizing these issues and are using programs like twitter and blogs in their job searches.

Narrowing The Field

Besides the use of social media, some large firms are using databases to help them find candidates. Referred to as applicant-tracking software, these programs can make the hiring process more efficient by matching up qualified candidates. The programs are not meant to be used solely in the hiring process but as a tool to help screen applicants. Programs are designed to scan for keywords, former employers, years of experience and schools attended to identify candidates of interest. The field in narrowed on who to contact for interviews.

Pitfalls With Technology

There are dangers of using social media and screening tools on applicants. Too much information may be available online and does not have to do with the applicant’s ability to do the job. Cases can fall into possible discrimination or invasion of policy. Steps should be taken to avoids these issues:

1. Establish a policy whether or not social media will be used.
2. If used, gather information on the applicant’s ability to do the job in a uniform manner
3. Notify applicants on the use of social media in the screening process on applications and job descriptons.  


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New Twitter Lawsuit Reinforces the Need for a Solid Social Media Policy

In late December, the New York Times ran an article on a lawsuit that may change the way in which companies and individuals interact with social media. The lawsuit involved a company called Phonedog and was brought against one of their ex-employees, a writer named Noah Kravitz. While working for Phonedog, Noah created a Twitter account under the name Phonedog_Noah and he proceeded to amass around 17,000 followers. When he left the company, he took his name and followers with him, leading to the current lawsuit. 

The Twitter Case

Phonedog was, apparently, initially OK wit Noah taking his Twitter contacts with him and agreed to let him to continue using the name as long as he tweeted for them occasionally. Noah changed his Twitter account name to Noah_Kravitz after leaving, but despite this change, he still kept all of Phonedog’s followers. Eight months after Noah had left the company, Phonedog subsequently filed a lawsuit. 

The lawsuit alleged that Noah had taken and misused the company’s intellectual property by taking the Twitter account with him and keeping it for personal use. Twitter, they believe, should be treated like other customer lists and databases and it should belong to the company. This is especially true since Noah built up his followers and reputation using the company name and while working for the company.

Unfortunately, Phonedog didn’t have a clear policy in place specifying who the Twitter followers belong to. As such, the case will likely end up before a judge, who may make a landmark decision that will forever impact corporate-social media behavior.

The Takeaway

While the are of law is still developing and it is uncertain exactly who owns Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media contacts, the best thing you and your company can do to protect itself is to have your own clear social media policy in place. If any new hire is informed that contacts made on-the-job or using a social networking account associated with the job belong to the company, you can avoid confusion. More importantly, you can avoid the potential loss of access to countless clients that you have spent money and time having your employees build relationships with for your company.  

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