Social Media & Gen Z: Online Communications Challenge Work Etiquette

Improvements in Internet capabilities the availability of mobile devices moved the world to whole new levels of efficiencies and has helped to connect people across the globe.

It’s not only changed the way we work and play for the better but as Gen Z becomes the largest population in the workforce, modern technology will also become the “norm”.

This generation has had these innovations at their disposal since they were children. It’s made them more connected to devices and they can more easily turn to tech than any users before them to complete tasks. The result is much of what we’re already seeing today… ordering food from the drive-thru before we even get there, having face-to-face video chats with family or a client located oceans away.

One thing that’s also changed as a result is workplace etiquette.

Things like dressing appropriately, sticking to professional conversations and not bringing personal matters to the office are a given. But with a highly connected and available online world, and the prominence of social networks, it’s harder today to keep some of this outside of the professional world the more these networks merge for all to see.

Businesses themselves are moving marketing and communications into the social realm so the lines will only continue to blur.

If you’re out there looking for a job, or hope to make a career move in the near future, it’s important to pay close attention to your online “persona” and remember that whatever is put out there, stays out there.

Here are 5 tips for getting your online etiquette in line.

1. All Social Media Networks Should be Handled with the Same Care

Depending on the task or desired outcome, social media networks serve various purposes. Twitter is usually where people resort to for up-to-the-minute news updates while Facebook shares more in-depth news and opinions and Instagram and SnapChat help with brand awareness.

Whichever site you have an account with, it’s safe to say employers and your professional career will cross paths with the content so treat them all the same and proceed with caution. Don’t post or share things out of character or that you wouldn’t want to be seen by the public eye.

2. Maintain Privacy Settings But Proceed with Caution

In a world of over-sharing and online accessibility, it’s important to stay on top of security and privacy settings. You may be able to limit the audiences that view your posts or what you’re sharing, and you certainly should, but do so with the understanding that anything that’s posted online could eventually make it to a larger audience.

3. Use social to influence and add value to public conversations

Social media isn’t all bad. These platforms are leading the charge for changing the worldview on so many topics and uniting forces for the greater good of humanity. If you’re going to be active on social media, make your voice count and contribute only to those conversations where you can add value or have influence.

4. Keep Professionalism in Comments

It’s not just about the pictures you share and statuses you post. You should also be careful how you’re interacting with others in the comments sections as these can easily be discovered. Keep the same level of professionalism you practice when posting to your own page in any places where you’re involved in public discourse.

5. Remember What Happens on the Internet Stays Forever!

This is perhaps one of the most important tips for anyone who is navigating the online world of social media: Nothing on the Internet goes away. It stays forever. You might think a simple delete of a post is enough to make it go away but everything that’s been said or done can be easily captured by the public with a screen grab or exists on a server somewhere.

If you want your career and future to be free of these types of questionable moments, just remember your online etiquette should be the same as your demeanor in office.

DataCheck’s pre-employment background screening ensures your employees are not a part of any online activity that could pose an issue for your company’s reputation. We provide a comprehensive search of the major social media platforms and help you to gain insight on a potential candidate’s online behavior and the appropriateness they display in these interactions based on your company’s basic code of conduct and values.

Get in touch today.

70% of Employers Are Using Social Media to Screen Candidates

Employers today have a wide variety of screening tools at their disposal. It helps that potential employees, like most Americans, regularly publish information about themselves. More and more companies are using this information – most of it accessible by social media – to pre-check candidates before they put out a job offer.

According to a study conducted by CareerBuilder last year, 70 percent of employers say they are now using social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees. The goal, companies say, is to ensure that the individual is a good “fit” for the company, and to ferret out any reasons NOT to hire someone.

Employers who responded to the CareerBuilder survey listed the following reasons for pre-screening candidates on social media:

  • Information that supports their qualifications for the job (61 percent)
  • If the candidate has a professional online persona at all (50 percent)
  • What other people are posting about the candidates (37 percent)
  • For any reason at all not to hire a candidate (24 percent)

Professional Screening Services

Checking social media can be a tedious process, however, which is why there is an increasing number of tools and services that can help you use available information – not just social media, but search engines too – to build a better picture of a job candidate and ensure you’ve got the right person.

At DataCheck, we provide pre-employment background checks, drug tests and screening services that include a comprehensive search of the major social media platforms to gain insight into a candidate’s online behavior and appropriateness based on your company’s basic code of conduct and values.

Using our services you can uncover evidence of criminal behavior, unprofessional conduct or lies, and misrepresentation about experience and education. The goal is to prevent you from hiring candidates who aren’t a good fit or who could even be a danger to the company’s existing employees and reputation.

For more information about how DataCheck can help with screening candidates via social media and other means, visit our web site or call 800-253-3394.

What Do Employers Check for on Your Social Media?

When sifting through applications and deciding which people to interview, most employers look at applicants’ social media profiles. It’s become a key element in our everyday lives today. What they find can work for or against a candidate.

Here are some things to think about when it comes to employer social media checks.

How Social Media Can Help You Get the Job

Many employers will look for applicants with a professional online presence, including information about their education and current and past employment that supports statements made in their resume.

Other things they may confirm on social sites is if you belong to a professional association, if you have published articles that are relevant to the position for which you applied, or if you have been praised or quoted by others. Those things could work in your favor. A prospective employer may also use search engines to look for articles about you and your accomplishments, references to volunteer work, and other indications of good character.

How Social Media Can Work Against You

Employers also check social media for any reason not to hire a candidate. Pictures or videos behaving in an immature, reckless or offensive way can work against an employee. Limit use of profanity or discriminatory language, or any comments referring to these types of behavior or to any type of criminal activity as they can get your application rejected. Any comments that indicate that the information included in your resume is false or misleading can also ruin your chance of securing a job.

Using social to reveal confidential information about a current or past employer could also be grounds for rejection of your candidacy.

Things that seem funny or trivial to you could even make an employer question your professionalism. For example, a silly, offensive, or immature screen name could cause an employer to think twice. A large number of posts during normal business hours could make a hiring manager conclude that you don’t take your current job seriously and would not be a reliable employee. Tread carefully.

How to Use Social Media

With all of these reasons that social media could cause you to miss out on a job opportunity, you might be tempted to delete your profiles altogether, but you shouldn’t. Many employers are reluctant to hire someone who isn’t active online at all.

Use your social media accounts to your advantage. Cultivate a professional image by including information about your work, accomplishments, and goals. Before you post any comments, pictures, or videos, ask yourself what a prospective employer might think. If you would be embarrassed to have your parents see something, it probably wouldn’t sit well with a hiring manager either.

Importance of Background Checks

In a competitive labor market, employers need to carefully screen candidates. In addition to checking social media, conducting thorough background checks can help companies identify applicants with criminal records and verify that all information included in a candidate’s resume is accurate.

If you are interested in hiring new employees and want to be assured you’re making a solid choice in an employee, contact DataCheck today. We can help you make informed decisions you’re confident in.

Do Small Businesses Need Employee Background Checks?

Small businesses are thriving in today’s economy and arguably are the lifeblood of many industries. As competition in the workforce heats up, it’s important for small business owners to protect their establishments from risk and choose candidates who fit the unique culture of their typically intimate and diverse workplaces.

While the economy and job market are up and candidates are flooding their resumes out, it’s become an important focus for CEOs at companies of all sizes to locate quality employees that add value to the company and are more likely to stick around for the long haul.

Employee background checks are actually a very critical step for small businesses. These checks won’t just notify you if the potential candidate has anything questionable in their past, but can also help you to understand the full picture of whether or not they’ll fit in with the rest of the company and daily requirements.

In addition, background investigations, or steps to verify an applicant’s education, references and understand their soft skills should all be taken.

Protecting your investment in employees and focusing on ROI are essential to the hiring process. Employees that don’t end up working out might be easier to come and go from a larger corporation, but for small businesses, the paperwork and costs associated with off-and on-boarding people can add up to be significant costs.

Handling the background check needs requires time and focus most small business owners also don’t have to dedicate sufficiently to the process. Hiring an established and professional service provider to assist with background screening provides peace of mind so you can make hiring choices with confidence.

Choose DataCheck to run a thorough background check, criminal record report, social security number verification report, driving record check, and a nationwide sex offender registry search on any applicant before they become a member of your team.

Save time and money, avoid negligent hiring lawsuits and provide a safer work environment.

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As Face-to-Face Interviews Decline, Pre-Employment Screening is Critical

Let’s face it: nobody likes job interviews. The old hiring standard of bringing a group of people in and asking them a series of sometimes-absurd and irrelevant questions has been under fire recently. Does the job interview really communicate a candidates’ qualifications? Does it serve any purpose except wasting everybody’s time? Are face-to-face job interviews going the way of the dodo?

Possibly, if you believe industry trends. The Wall Street Journal has reported that some employers trying to recruit in the tightest job market in decades are hiring some candidates sight unseen—after just one phone interview. This isn’t generally for high-powered jobs. But the trend could spread from retail and low-level office work into more professions. The reason, according to Peter Capelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania interviewed by the WSJ, is that most companies are “so bad at interviewing, and the interviews are so full of bias, that it’s not crazy to just ignore them altogether.”

What’s Wrong with Interviews?

Interviewing, it’s felt, only represents a person’s interviewing skills, and few people conduct interviews for their jobs, noted Suzanne Lucas writing for Inc. magazine.

“This job requires that I sit at a computer, analyze information, and write about it in a coherent and entertaining fashion (hopefully with the least typos possible),” wrote Lucas. “An accountant’s job is to make sure that all laws are followed and all numbers balance out. A computer coder’s job is to write clear, clean code. None of these jobs require great interview skills on a daily basis. Someone who is great at interviewing may not be all that great at doing the actual job, and vice versa.”

Interviewing candidates face-to-face is also expensive and time-consuming. Companies are instead relying on applications, resumes, recommendations, and telephone interviews. In some cases, they’re engaging would-be employees in short temporary assignments to test their work capability. They’re also putting research procedures in place to check out potential employees.

Should You Stop Interviewing?

Experts say that while eliminating interviewing altogether may not be in your company’s best interests, they do recommend shortening the process. What they don’t recommend, however, is foregoing the kind of pre-employment checks that can protect your business.

Why Are Pre-Employment Checks Important?

A pre-employment background check company like DataCheck can help you screen your potential employees for the information you need to know before you hire. DataCheck is a full-service background investigation company that specializes in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck via our website or call 800-253-3394 to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.