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    Added on 29 March

    How Companies Find Out About New Hires Via Social Media

    29 March

    There are all kinds of industries in which you can work. In most instances, you need some sort of a background in that field if a company is going to hire you. However, there are instances where you might not have a lot of prior experience, and the business is willing to let you learn as you go.


    Before a company hires you, though, it’s highly likely that they will do a background check on you. They might look into whether you have a criminal record. They will probably look at your resume, and they might call prior employers to see if they can get an impression of you that way.


    More and more, though, companies are also turning to social media to find out about their potential workers. It makes sense for them to do this, so you need to be very careful about what you post. We’ll talk about that in more detail right now.


    How Social Media Works


    Using social media to research people is very common these days. Potential employers do it, but anyone who wants to find out some free information about someone else might use this method as well.


    A business might turn to your social media profiles to see if you posted anything that will reveal more about your personality, beliefs, passions, etc. Someone might also look at your social media accounts if they’re dating you and considering whether to take the relationship to the next level.


    There are tons of social media options out there now, with more appearing seemingly every day. You can have a profile on Meta, which was once Facebook. There’s Instagram, which Meta owns, though not everyone knows that.


    You can also start a profile on platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok. There are ones like LinkedIn that are primarily for professional purposes. There, you can connect with other professionals and possibly find job leads.


    When you create a social media profile, the first thing to know about it is that you can set it to public or private. Most people realize this, and they only have a public profile if they’re trying to attract a large following. Influencers do this all the time. They’ll post about their life and exploits and try to get as many people as possible to follow them, like their posts, share them, and comment on them.


    How Companies Examine Your Social Media Accounts


    If you set a social media profile to private, then, ostensibly, no one you don’t allow to access it can see what you post there. You can feel more able to be yourself when you set up a private profile since you only allow trusted individuals to see your life’s intimate details.


    If you have a public profile, and you post something there, anyone can see it. That includes a prospective employer who wants to learn as much about you as that profile can tell them. Often, it’s the HR department that handles this kind of thing.


    When they do, they might have a company they turn to that uses a proprietary software package. There are many of these packages available these days. The business doing these social media checks might have one of these background check companies on retainer if they do a lot of hiring.  


    The software uses advanced analytics and search capabilities to locate any of your social media profiles that you have set to public. They’ll then show those to the HR department or whoever else the company has in charge of doing this kind of research.


    Why You Should Be Careful with Your Public Social Media Accounts


    What’s kind of remarkable is that there are many individuals who don’t understand that if they don’t bother to set their social media accounts to private, anyone can easily find them and see what they do and say. There might not be anything wrong with that if all you’re doing is reposting harmless or inoffensive memes and your vacation pictures.


    However, many individuals will post controversial or offensive content on social media, and they won’t set their profile to private. They might post political content or other content that a company which might otherwise hire them won’t like to see.


    Maybe you have certain political beliefs or controversial opinions, but if you do, it’s often professional suicide to post them on a public social media profile. You might also have a public profile where you’re arguing with a relative about child support or some other topic that you should keep private.


    Some individuals who don’t understand how social media works all that well express surprise if a company doesn’t hire them because of the objectionable content that business entity found on a public profile.


    Frankly, even if you have a social media profile set to private, and you post controversial opinions or similar content there, it’s not impossible that a company will hear about what you posted. They might contact someone you know who has seen that content or knows about it.


    Practice Social Media Restraint


    If you post something online, it never really goes away, even if you change your mind about a topic years later. That’s what stops some individuals from holding public office. You should think carefully about what you post on social media because of what it might do to your professional life, not just now but possibly years down the line.


    You might have a couple of social media profiles set to private. Even then, it’s not inconceivable that a company’s HR department or whoever else they have in charge of this kind of research might learn about it. If you have controversial opinions, putting them out there on social media is always a risk.


    It’s usually better to keep that kind of thing to yourself. That makes it much more likely that when a potential employer tries to find out about you, they don’t learn anything that might give them pause.


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