Social Media Monitoring by Employers Set to Rise – Are They Doing it Right?

Reports reveal that one-third of youngsters are happy to share their social media profiles with employers, in exchange for job security. The report also predicts that the practice of monitoring personal data through social media is likely to increase with time.

This report is the result of a survey of 10,000 employees and 500 HR professionals all over the world. According to the research, social media monitoring can help companies to study factors that motivate their workforce, reasons for job shifts and ways to improvise employee well-being. Younger candidates are happier to share their personal data, forming 36% of the workgroup.

What you need to know?

1. As you know that your employers are using your own social media profiles for monitoring, it is crucial to carefully maintain your image on such sites.

2. Facebook and Twitter are the most commonly used profiles. Consider having dual accounts on these platforms.  

3. Radian 6, a Canadian company that specializes in designing social media monitoring tools, has been acquired by for more than $325 million.  Many other companies have started investing on social media monitoring, thanks to its popularity and revealing nature.

 Are things getting too personal?

This trend of companies demanding personal social media profiles to spy employee activities had received horrible publicity. ‘Are companies getting too personal’ is an important question to be asked. A survey by CareerBuilder in 2013, suggests that 39% of bosses dig into their employee’s social profiles. 43% of them have revealed that this practice helped them determine inappropriate postings, information, photos or bad-mouthing on their bosses or workplace.

On the other hand, 19% of social media diggers said it helped them find information to determine a candidate’s skills like communication and other professional skills.

The Argument

Few advocates believe that employers are doing it right in monitoring their worker’s personal details. Keeping an eye on their tweets and updates help them in managing discipline. Other supporters argue that it’s very easy for tone-deaf workers to harass subordinates, misbehave or criticize customers. This in turn can cause workplace tensions or complaints, damaging a brand’s image and reputation. It can also lead to regulatory action or lawsuits.   

On the flip side, work advocates and privacy proponents believe that this is unnecessary. Most social media updates have nothing to do with official matters. It should never be monitored unless there is good reason to suspect wrongdoings.

Many critics believe that this is just too exaggerated. What most people post in their private profiles is perfectly harmless, as it cannot damage a brand or a company. Some critics go as far to call this an ideological witch hunt or prudery.

The negatives

Few critics believe it’s totally unfair to consider social media as a factor at all in determining any kind of detail about an employee. It may lead to discrimination. There are fair chances of screening out strong candidates who may have done things that organizations don’t like, but have nothing to do with work.

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It is also important that companies don’t use social media to make decisions based on employee’s personal information like religious belief, ethnic background, age and other factors. People have lost their jobs in the past owing to their political opinions and other personal beliefs, which has nothing to do with work.

In a competitive environment, employers simply cannot ignore fully qualified candidates due to their private behaviors or when they disapprove their private life interests, beliefs and other activities outside the workplace.

To sum up, social media monitoring by employers seems to have more ill-effects than its so-called benefits.  

So what’s your say? Do you support this practice or stand against it. Share your views in the comment section below.       


Sources:thedrum, theguardian, online.wsj , fluencymedia






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