Business professionals are using today’s generation of social media-trending habits as helpful decision-making aspects when choosing who to hire, who to enroll, and whose application to shred without a second thought.
Nearly one fifth of the entire world population has an existence on Facebook, according to the Washington Post. To put this into perspective, the human population is estimated to total 7.125 billion, leaving 1,425,000,000 of the world population on just one of the many social media websites, the National Census Bureau reported.
As of Jan. 28, Lorain County Community College had 10,594 students enrolled for classes during the spring semester. Based on these statistics, at least 2,119 of those enrolled take part in social media, specifically the Facebook community.
Presently, seventy-seven percent of employers now use social networking to recruit candidates, up from thirty-four percent six years ago, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Tony Schweppe, manager of business engagement at Lorain County Community College, expressed the need for students to be careful when using social media for personal reasons. Often times, he said, employers like seeing someone who is capable of using such outlets in a professional manner.
“I have employers call in all the time looking for people who can do things like web design and other social media-related things,” Schweppe said.
While young adults are told to be cautious when using social media, some students feel they don’t have anything to worry over.
“I wouldn’t mind my future employer or college administration seeing my Facebook or Twitter. I comment and post respectfully and responsibly, but I know this cannot be said of everyone,” said Maya Beirs, a business management major at LCCC. “I’m not sure what kind of work I want to do yet, but I don’t want anything that I say or post on Facebook to ruin my chance at getting whatever dream job I decide I want in the future.”
Of 260 students surveyed in the fall of 2013, 95 percent said they were on Facebook, eighty percent on Twitter, 73 percent on Instagram and 48 percent on Pinterest, according to Study Breaks Magazine.
Additionally, it was reported that 40 percent of students check Facebook six [or more] times a day [and] 63 percent check Twitter at least once a day, including the 33 percent who check six [or more] times a day.
On behalf of LCCC, Kionna McIntosh, staff assistant in Enrollment, Financial and Career Services, said that the college does not currently check social media sites during the admissions process. Additionally, she stated, there are no future intentions to begin checking these outlets.
“I don’t think [employers and college administration] should be allowed to use what they see on Facebook and Instagram as grounds to hire anyone because a lot of people like to just have fun with social media,” Jackie Sowell, a second-year student at LCCC, said. “They use it when they’re drunk [and] as a way to have a few laughs with their friends.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has yet to issue specific rules governing social media, so it is not illegal for employers to use it in their decision making process, Study Breaks Magazine reported .
A survey conducted by PCWorld magazine found that “20 percent of companies admitted to checking out candidate’s profiles on social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace before deciding to employ them. A further 9 percent said they planned to start reviewing potential employees’ social-networking pages in the future.”
It was also revealed that 24 percent of employers hired a member of staff based on their social-networking profile, and 33 percent decided not to make a job offer after reviewing content on a profile.