Social networking and recruitment
Advertising jobs: many employers use social media to advertise and recruit new employees: for example, posting job vacancies on websites or using smart phones to attract interest from specific target audiences.
Screening applicants: employees are often unaware that their social networking pages are being used by employers as part of a screening process before offering interviews. They may be looking for evidence of what they consider 'inappropriate' behavior or language.
Saves time and money: there are clearly huge savings for employers using free, electronic channels for recruitment. They can also reach more potential recruits quickly - social networking sites have huge audiences.
Less bureaucracy: a new generation of employees is using social media to job hunt by making direct contact with potential employers and HR and recruitment officers, often bypassing traditional recruitment processes. This trend - referred to as the 'death of the gatekeeper' - means that employees can be better informed about possible employers and more creative about how they promote themselves.
Social exclusion: recruiting or assessing potential recruits using social media can exclude people who do not have access to these facilities. In 2009, 30% of the population were not using the internet (down from 41% in 2003) and around 9% of businesses with ten or more employees still had no internet access.
Discrimination: laws protecting people from discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, disability, race, marriage, religion and belief, and sexual orientation start at the recruitment stage. Employers could face employment tribunal hearings if they refused to interview someone as a result of a judgment they made based on a social networking profile.