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Social Media Policies – Are they really necessary?

The use of social media as a recruitment tool is well known, but does everyone realise it’s also great for ‘interviewing’ and ‘reviewing’? I know many a recruiting manager who will check an individual’s Facebook or Linkedin profile as part of the screening process. Why wouldn’t they? After all it will tell us an awful lot about the individual that may not necessarily be on the CV or covering letter.

In a similar vein, its coming up to the end of year review and being ‘friends’ on Facebook with your employer possibly has its advantages in terms of career progression, but maybe not in the direction you might think after they have observed your behaviour in Magaluf and Glastonbury!

We’ve been involved in numerous debates and discussions about Social Media over the years, and are still firmly of the view that all employers should have them in place in the interest of an open and transparent relationship.

The employee might argue:

  • Why should my employers try and control what I do and say on any social media site?
  • Surely this affects my rights to freedom of speech?
  • I can say what I want to, and if my boss sees it, well they shouldn’t have been looking in the first place!

The employer may counter:

  • We don’t want to restrict or control employees’ use of any social media at all, however we feel it is our place to let them know the implications if they get it wrong.
  • Employees may believe they can do and say what they want, but we have a responsibility to point out to them that if they post anything which could adversely affect working relationships with clients, colleagues, suppliers, or indeed damage our reputation, and it is brought to our attention then we will deal with it appropriately.

We see these policies as vital, in ensuring that employees are fully aware of the implications if they post something that the employer has an issue with.  Misuse of social media, or inappropriate comments / posts can ultimately lead to disciplinary action, and employees should know that before taking any risks.

If you have any concerns about this, or any other policy, why not contact one of our HR Experts for advice and support.

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