Human Resources and Social Media: The Pros and Cons

social media and hr

The Social Media and HR worlds collide more and more each day. To friend, or not to friend your employees, that is the question. As an employer, you have two options. You could either choose to ignore the internet lives of your prospective/current employees or you could learn to use social media wisely. When navigating through social media sites,  keep these four practices at the forefront of your mind.

See also: Social Media and the Employer/Employee Relationship

4 Best Practices for Social Media and HR

  1. Consider a disclosure policy that informs job applicants of the use of social networks in the screening process.
  2. Implement a social network policy in your employee handbook that addresses inappropriate posts that could be grounds for termination: any that violate company policy, divulge company secrets, and/or include libelous, abusive or pornographic comments.
  3. Have a third party do the social media job screening. This way whoever is making the final hiring decision is not exposed to any legally protected information.
  4. Limit your social media screenings to LinkedIn. Since it’s a professionally focused network people are expecting employers to browse their professional history. It will focus you on their professional strengths or weaknesses instead of what they do after the business hours.

Plainly stated, your impressions of your employees should be based on what they do during their work hours. Even if it’s your desire to know your employees better, that can be done safely and more meaningfully in the workplace. Though it may take a bit more time, you will get to know who your employees really are instead of simply how often they post selfies or their strange obsession with Kim Kardashian. Whichever route you choose, do so professionally and wisely. With that recipe, it will be difficult to go wrong.


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