How Human Resources Use Social Networks


Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized a lot of industries. From law enforcement to marketing to yes, even human resources. How can they not? Thanks to these social networks, human resource specialists can easily track down previously unavailable details about applicants’ personal lives. Of course, not all of this information is relevant.

Ideally, HR departments and personnel office staff should only factor in personal activities that impact an applicants’ ability to do the job they are applying for. That’s ‘ideally.’  People being people, seeing an applicant in an embarrassing position is often enough for the personnel staffer to reject an applicant.

Indeed, the increasing usage of social networks by a personnel department to vet applicants should tip job applicants off that they should stay off social networks. So what types of information do personnel departments look for?

Incriminating photos and video

Pictures or video of you getting drunk or in a drunken stupor are not materials that will move your career forward. If you thought these materials were embarrassing enough when shared among friends, wait until you see their effect when posted online. Personnel departments might factor in drunken photos for jobs that require sobriety.

Being drunk in public can reflect on the soundness of your judgment and your overall character. Self-control and self-discipline, after all, are key traits desired in people of responsibility.

But people change and one bad move in the past should not doom an applicant’s chances at a great job, right? Ideally, this makes sense but Personnel department staff might have their own completely different agenda.

Hate speech

Many people post all sorts of ridiculous stuff on their newsfeeds. However, some stuff are more stupid than others. This definitely applies to the issue of hate speech. Since corporations and businesses cater to a diverse customer base, they are looking for people who are sensitive to this diverse community.

Seeing your facebook post mentioning the N-word or antisemitic remarks doesn’t give the impression that you are sensitive to a diverse customer base.  You don’t have to be a Mel Gibson to have nasty insensitive words doom your chances of getting a good job. Moreover, incriminating insensitive Twitter and Facebook postings aren’t limited to words. Posting racist or questionable imagery can also set personnel departments off.

Bad interaction/ bad interpersonal skills

Even if you don’t post pictures of your half-naked and drunk with a swastika on your chest, your posts can still torpedo your chances of getting a good job. How? If you constantly engage in trolling, insults, and other rude online behavior. Remember, most jobs require interpersonal skills and good communication skills. If you still have questions about the nature of human resources, researching classes offered through a human resources masters program is a great solution.

What kind of interpersonal relationship building are you exhibiting if you are constantly trolling others and trying to get a rise from people? These types of public outbursts can make sensitive and insightful personnel department staffers write you off their lists.