Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tweeters beware, employers check your social networks before employing

Employers check potential workers social networks
Little did Ashley Payne know that the festive photo of her holding both a pint of beer and a glass of red wine would lead to the loss of her high school teaching job.
The 24-year-old posted the image to her Facebook profile and after a parent complained, school officials told Payne she'd have to choose between resigning and suspension, according to IOL News. She resigned.
If those school officials were hiring new teachers and found a candidate with a similar photo on Facebook or another social media site, it's most likely that person wouldn't even get an interview.
Rejecting young people from jobs because of what they post on social media has become commonplace. According to a new report by On Device Research, one in ten people from the ages of 16 to 34 have been turned down for a new job because of photos or comments on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites.
"If getting a job wasn't hard enough in this tough economic climate, young people are getting rejected from employment because of their social media profiles and they are not concerned about it," On Device Research's marketing manager Sarah Quinn said in a statement.
While 10 percent of young people are knowingly rejected from jobs because of their social media profiles, 66 percent of young people don't seem to care that these profiles may affect their career prospects. In fact, the majority of young people cater their social media presence to friends rather than potential employers, according to On Device Research.
"Better education of the impact of social media is needed, to ensure young people across the world are not making it even harder for themselves to get on the career ladder," Quinn said.
Several U.S. states have created laws to protect employees from being fired because of what they post on social media. In January, six states officially made it illegal for employers to ask their workers for passwords to their social media accounts. It's unclear how many employers have actually demanded access to workers' online accounts, but some cases have surfaced publicly and inspired lively debate over the past year. In one instance last year, a teacher's aide in Michigan was suspended after refusing to provide access to her Facebook account following complaints over a picture she posted.
As for Payne, even though she ultimately resigned, she has since sued the school to get her job back or receive monetary damages, according to IOL News.
On Device Research surveyed 17,657 people from the ages of 16 to 34 in China, India, Nigeria, Brazil, the U.S., and U.K. to get its data about social media and employment.

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