Social media loving jobseekers could be harming their futures

Social media loving jobseekers could be harming their futures

Whilst many of us have been savvy enough to hide that cheeky Zante 2008 album, the younger generation and their tendency to overshare online are leaving parents concerned over the state of their futures. 

Over half of parents fear their children are ruining their reputations and future career prospects through the content they’re posting online.

According to a survey from AgeChecked, 58% of parents are concerned that their children’s online activity could harm their job prospects.

Alastair Graham, CEO of AgeChecked, said it was understandable that parents are concerned about what their children are posting online. “While access to the Internet can be hugely enjoyable and educational, it can really hamper future successes if children are posting careless, or potentially embarrassing content," he explains. "Not only that, but children don’t always understand who can see the things they’re posting on social media sites – their accounts may not be as private as they think.”

Whilst it’s unfair to judge a candidate on posts that were uploaded at a young age, the reality is, jobseekers must be wary of their online footprint. A recent Yougov study found that one in five employers had rejected a candidate because of their online posts. 

However, new data regulations could allay both parent and jobseeker fears. Proposed changes to the existing Data Protection Bill will give candidates the right to request that social media companies delete personal information held about them.  

The new GDPR legislation will give people the right to have all their personal data deleted by companies.

In addition, employers and recruiters that use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to check on potential job candidates could be breaking European law in future. An EU data protection working party has ruled that employers should require ‘legal grounds’ before snooping. The recommendations are non-binding, but will influence forthcoming changes to data protection laws – BBC News reports.

Furthermore, Keely Rushmore, a Senior Associate at SA Law, explained to City AM that employers and recruiters that currently make decisions based on an applicant’s social media presence are potentially breaking the law – regardless of incoming legislation changes.

He said: “It’s tempting to think that the candidate might never find out, but if the documentation obtained and generated during the recruitment process doesn’t tally with the decision made, then this can lead to the candidate asking awkward questions, and potentially a claim.

“Further, recording or using information about candidates from websites will fall under the data protection legislation, and it’s crucial to ensure that you don’t fall foul of its requirements.”

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Comments (1)

  • Boris
    Wed, 21 Feb 2018 1:13pm GMT
    While I agree that people should have a certain amount of privacy there's also a danger that by not allowing an employer to see what you've posted on social media they could end up with an unsuitable candidate who brings their organisation into disrepute. If the individual doesn't set their privacy settings high enough or accepts a "friend" request from a potential employer would they still be able to cry foul of the new data protection rules?
    I've lost count of the number of people who loose their jobs because they accept a "friend" request from a colleague or manager and then either insult/degrade the company they work for, or worse, claim they're board while at work! It'll be one to watch, especially as the UK is leaving the EU so their new data protection laws may not be relevant or adopted.

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