Monday, 4 november 2019 | Redacción CEU
They favor relationships, enable instant communication, help meet new contacts and be in touch with very different profiles and serve as an entertainment and information channel. Social networking sites have changed the way we communicate. As a consequence, different spheres of our life are being altered because of them. In particular, digital platforms are acquiring an important role within the work environment. For example, users’ profiles are being used as a cover letter for candidates, whether applicants aim at that effect or not. This means that some of the opportunities and inconveniences that these professionals find in their careers depend on the type of behavior that they have on the Net.
The study The importance of communication in our lives, which was recently published by the Association of Media Agencies, reveals that half of the Spaniards write or act on digital media in a way that they would not dare to reproduce face to face. Social platforms generate a false sense of anonymity that usually causes greater user disinhibition. There is also an atmosphere of impunity in them, a feeling that might explain the behavior of trolls and haters. However, far from what it may seem at first, actions on the Internet have also an impact on the real world. particularly, in the work world. This is highlighted by the report 2019 Connected Talent: New realities of the labor market.
According to this study conducted by Infoempleo with the collaboration of EY, 81% of HR professionals visit candidates’ digital profiles before making a decision. This report reveals that the applicants who are active on social networks have more job opportunities than those who are not, but also that a third of the candidates are rejected due to their activity on social networking sites. Specifically, 53% of HR professionals who participate in this survey claim that they have reconsidered their hiring decision after consulting a shortlisted candidate’s profile.
When rejecting an applicant for their activity on the Net, the main reasons given by recruiters are advocacy of violence or discrimination (72%), the encouragement of drug or alcohol use (72%) and the use of inappropriate pictures (69%). Political affiliation is not among the most important aspects, but it has actually risen by one point compared to last year (9%). When consulting candidates’ profiles, these professionals also pay special attention to factors such as the professional career of applicants, their skills and manners and their years of experience. Their favorite platforms to obtain this type of information are Linkedin and Facebook.
Companies are betting on new search sources and more sophisticated tools. For that reason, users need to be more careful about the image they project on the Internet, especially on social platforms, since, although their main use is personal, they work as a kind of 2.0 curriculum. Users’ digital footprint may be tracked by companies, and this might lead to them being hired or rejected. Users have to be aware that their activity on digital media is part of their digital identity and that is shapes their personal brand. Indeed, this is also important for people who are not actively seeking employment. An unfortunate comment, a controversial opinion, an inappropriate picture may have a negative impact on the current job, even leading to losing a client, generating an external or internal conflict and even bringing about their own dismissal.
There are also advantages to them. Thanks to social networking sites, users can easily establish relationships with professionals that would otherwise be very difficult to occur. In other words, professionals can engage in networking. It is a way to meet potential clients, partners or recruiters in a less formal environment. In turn, these communities help them maintain and strengthen relationships, identify opportunities, share and exchange knowledge and develop their personal brand.
Nonetheless, Infoempleo’s report points out that more and more users show a passive attitude when using social networking sites for a professional purpose. According to its data, in 2019, 64% of respondents restricted themselves to reading what other people published. This figure suggests that those professionals who know how to take advantage of their activity on social platforms will have many more opportunities to stand out from the rest. In order to do it well, they will have to take into account the specificities of each platform. For example, users can cultivate contacts on Facebook, do microblogging on specific topics on Twitter, upload high-quality and original content about their work on Youtube, etc.
The most used social platform for searching talent is Linkedin. 75% of recruiters who use social networks turn to it. Therefore, those professionals who want to work on their personal brand may start creating or updating their Linkedin profile. But not before having done other important actions such as “googling” their name and assessing what they find, configuring the privacy of their accounts or verifying that the pictures and content they share on them are consistent with the image they want to show.
The CEU IAM Business School is aware of the growing importance of the digital environment in the management of human capital. That is the reason that has led this business school to design specialized training programs like its Advanced Program in Digitalization of the Strategic Management of Human Resources and its International Master in Digital Business (MIDB). Ask for further information!