The upsurge of Social Media platforms: facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube, google among others in the 21st century is both a blessing and a curse depending on its usage by a user.
Recently, the President of Atheist Society in Kenya, Harrison Mumia is an example of how discriminatory posting on social media can cost one his/her current job.
After posting a series of political tweets against the Jubilee Government on his timeline last year, Mr Mumia was terminated from his work place by his employer the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
The CBK stated that Mr Mumia violated the bank’s HR policy which requires all its employees to remain politically neutral, nevertheless, after being warned about his social media activity in May 2017 the chief atheist continued with his series of tweets that allegedly embarrassed his employer by questioning the bank’s investigations on certain Jubilee politicians.
He has, however, termed the act as a witch-hunt, oppression on freedom of speech and expression while seeking legal alternative on the action.
This shows that what one posts on social media, despite being a personal space, could carry serious consequences in one’s professional life.
According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder in 2018, around 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees while 70 percent use it to screen the candidates during the hiring process.
In the modern world, managers look out on the social media accounts of candidates and employees so as to get a sight into one’s character beyond the resume and to ensure they are a good fit for the company.
Lacking an online presence is also harmful as 47 percent of employers won’t call a person for an interview as they need to gather more information before reaching out on the candidate.
Nonetheless, most employers do look at the social platforms for reasons to hire someone. This is because social media contains information that supports a candidate’s qualifications.
Half of employers want to see to it that job seekers have a professional online image, while 34 percent of managers wanted to see what other people are posting about the candidate.
Additionally, having a social media account has helped many job seekers get employment as companies laid out that the applicants showed excellent creativity on the online platforms.
As employers look through one’s social media platform, 57 percent have said that they came across posts, photos or videos that resulted to them not hiring the candidate.
Posting of provocative photos, information and videos has led to 40 percent of managers not hiring a person, while posting details about drinking alcohol and using drugs left a bad impression to the employer.
An employee or applicant posts of discriminatory comments related to gender, religion, politics and race also lead to 31 percent of employers terminating one’s job or not hiring.
Use of unprofessional screen name, posting on social media too frequently and employees lying about an absence also has grave repercussions.
Sharing of confidential information and bad-mouthing previous employers and fellow employees has resulted to 23 percent of managers to stop one’s services or one to miss out on a job opportunity.
Lying about one’s qualification, poor communication skills and being linked to criminal behavior online has negative effects in one’s professional life.
Better safe than never is a motto employees and job seekers should adopt so as to take control of their digital identity as many people underestimate the reach of social media.