It has become standard procedure for companies to review social media accounts of potential employees before they give them a job.
Companies are specifically looking at:
- An audit of all your major social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc);
- An audit of the type of content you are writing/posting;
- An audit of any ‘major themes’ that come apparent across your accounts;
- An audit of the things that you are known for and any potential risks.
What employers are and are not allowed to use
Where the information gathered from the facebook profile of an individual, Personal Information Protection (POPI) will provide enhanced privacy protection for candidates, said Tracy Robbins, a Baker Mckenzie associate.
While employers should tread carefully when monitoring job applicants, an employer is allowed to make hiring decisions that are related to the job’s inherent demands based on results from social networking screening, Robbins said.
For instance, where a job involves an employee to be apolitical and it becomes apparent during a applicant’s social media search that the candidate has strong political affiliations, it would not necessarily imply unfair discrimination not to give the job to the candidate, she said.
Having a lot of followers is great, but employers will also look at the people you choose to follow yourself. Search for the accounts of others in your industry and follow them – especially the companies you’re applying to. This will also ensure you’re getting industry news in your feed, making for great conversation topics during interviews.
Employers will be impressed to see that your Facebook page or Twitter feed is full of posts about new breakthroughs or innovations you’ve come across. Even if it’s not related directly to what you do in the industry, post about it.
If recruiters are looking for you by name or already have your CV, it’s generally pretty easy for them to find your profiles.