SM Profiling – Slippery Slope as Hiring Practice

blog_imageWhat are some of the ethical and legal aspects of using Social Media for profiling potential job candidates? How is the information gathered accessed, used, stored and protected? What are the risk factors involved?

When recruiters turn to invalidated processes for research on candidates, it is unclear if the recruiters are meeting ethical standards regarding impacts on human well-being, fairness, justice, humanity and decency. Applicants who are asked to provide prospective employers access to personal and private Social Media sites may not feel that they have the option to deny the prospective employers access. They are likely to feel that denial will eliminate them from consideration for the position. This puts the recruiter in a position of power such that they “risk violating both the dignity and integrity of potential employees as well as conferring feelings of distrust (Jeske and Shultz, 2015). As candidates for employment, individuals have no organizational representatives advocating their interests. Were there such organizations, I feel it would be highly unlikely that Social Media profiling would be used in recruitment. Namely, there are no studies that confirm the efficacy of using Social Media profiling in correlation to successful hiring and job performance. This really opens up the door to legal aspects. I feel that employers have no interest in efficacy studies until lawsuits force them to take note. And there is no money in conducting efficacy studies until eventual lawsuits regarding using Social Media for recruitment require employers can show proof of reason for this practice.

In connection with legal issues, discrimination issues are some of the forefront concerns. Individuals, employment candidates, are aware of Human Resource Social Media screening and may hide personal aspects about themselves such as minority status, age disability or sexual orientation. Aspects for which they may fear they could be discriminated against by prospective employers. Further, individuals may tailor their profiles to highlight aspects that are not truly indicative of the individual, but conform to what they believe employers want to see, such as membership to organizations, affiliations with any group. Social Media profiles for prospective employees become more homogeneous, diminishing any useful assessment of the individual based on their Social Media profiles.

It seems as if looking into an individual’s personal Social Media profile exemplifies looking into aspects which employers are not supposed to be assessing. Not only in discrimination cases, but in general, most employers prefer that employees keep their personal lives separate from their work lives. It is hypocrisy for employers to then feel free to look into personal aspects of a prospective employee’s life that should have no bearing on their work life?

North Carolina is an At-Will Employment state, which pretty much gives employers complete freedom to hire and fire employees with or without cause. However, there have been slight efforts to provide employees and potential employees minimal protections. Employee privacy laws in North Carolina states:

“Employers cannot fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee, or discharge or otherwise discriminate against any employee regarding compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the prospective employee or the employee engages in or has engaged in the lawful use of lawful products if the activity:

– Occurs off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours.

– Does not adversely affect:

-the employee’s job performance:

-the employee’s ability to properly fulfill the responsibilities of the position; or

-the safety of other employees.”

(OFF-DUTY USE OF LAWFUL PRODUCTS: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 95-28.2)

However, the law goes on to state that employers are not held responsible if they fail to hire or fire an individual for engaging in lawful activities outside of work IF the employer deems those activities to negatively impact the business. And there are no requirements for the employee to be made aware of or to agree to those terms prior to termination or refusal to hire.

So basically a company is free to interpret a candidate’s Social Media profile without fear of reprisal for discrimination. Even if it is not deliberate, it is unlikely that without a standardized process, those in the position of making decisions based on Social Media profiles are totally unbiased. It is more likely that “unconscious beliefs, comparisons and stereotypes about what people post online can also shape their decisions” (Jeske and Shultz, 2015).

And how are HR managers trained for these evaluations? What standardizations must be met if any? And as it has yet to be proven, what is inferred about a job candidate from their Social Media profile may have no reflection on their employment performance.

In terms of security, there are a lot of questions and not so many answers. When a candidate does agree to provide access and logins to Social Media profiles, who is actually using that information? How is it stored and protected? Worst case scenario, a candidate may unwittingly aid in industrial espionage as they could be providing access to sensitive information between companies.

In conclusion, I feel that more care needs to be put into the validity of the using Social Media profiles as screening measures for potential employment candidates. It is invasive and can be demeaning for the candidate, while there is no firm proof of the efficacy of such measures in the first place. “Without well-documented evidence for validity, the conclusions drawn by managers on the basis of profile searches may be tenuous at best and might furthermore result in undocumented discriminatory actions” (Brown and Vaughn, 2011).

 

References

Brown VR and Vaughn ED (2011) The writing on the (Facebook) wall: the use of social networking sites in hiring decisions. Journal of Business and Psychology 26: 219-25

GILLESKIE, ALICIA A., KIMBERLY J. KORANDO, SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P., and PRACTICAL LAW LABOR & EMPLOYMENT. “North Carolina.” SpringerReference (n.d.): n. pag. PRACTICAL LAW LABOR & EMPLOYMENT. Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan Smith, 2015. Web. 25 May 2016.

Jeske, Debora, and Kenneth S. Shultz. “Using Social Media Content for Screening in Recruitment and Selection: Pros and Cons.” Work, Employment and Society 0950017015613746 (2015): 1-12. Wes.sagepub.com. Web. 25 May 2016.

 

 

Branding Vs. Logo

“Your logo is not your brand. It is the main graphical representation of your brand. It’s the main visual ambassador of your brand and the entire basis of your original brand image of your corporate identity.” Donohue, Bobby. “What Is a Brand? The Difference Between a Brand and a Logo.” YouTube. Fuelblue TV, 18 June 2015. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

A businesses logo is very important, but brand identity is the height of the promotional and marketing hierarchy. First, one must take the time to create a brand and its personality. Branding is a means of describing yourself with intent and clarity along with making yourself distinct from other companies. It is different from a logo in that it lays out what your company portrays, its values and the purpose of the company. A logo is a visual identity that symbolizes the brand. It is the brand that the logo personifies, not the brand that represents the logo.

A new company or a company that is rebranding itself needs to sit down and come up with definitive statements that describe who and what the brand is about. Only then can a successful logo and color scheme evolve. For successful branding, there also needs to be explicit guidelines on how to present the brand, including how to make use of the logo and the decided upon color scheme. These guidelines need to be adhered to until such a time that the company decides it is time to rebrand.

If one does not consciously develop the foundations of its brand, it will be done for them via the views of its customer’s, its competition and those it employs along with it’s vendors. The problem is that those views are all based on past experiences. While those past experiences may be positive experiences, they do not encompass the vision that the creator(s) of the company likely have. There is no dynamic perception by the public of what to expect from that company in the future. That image should be driven by cautious and conscious development and planning through branding.

Once a brand has been developed, don’t forget to promote it using social media. Twitter, Pinterest and Youtube along with Facebook are great places to start. They will get the brand name out there which will increase its SEO results.

Further information:

Tea Packaging

Designed three different labels and packaging (only one style of packaging was required) for three different types of tea, presumably from the same company. I named my company, “Tea-ease.” I created a logo of a coy Chinese Dragon to represent my Chinese black tea. The dragon also has a bindi to represent the Indian Chai tea. There is a Japanese fan for the Japanese green tea. As I already had tea tins in my possession, it was quite natural to use those for my base and adhere labels on to the tins. I took colors in large part from the tins. I also used a wooden holder (from a whiskey barrel, but it would be quaint to tell people that it is reclaimed wood from an old tea curing plant).

Initial Idea for a Mobile App

MOBILE APP

Journal of Daily Gratitudes

  1. Daily Entries – Personal thoughts of thankfulness and positivity
  2. Automatically records time, location & weather at time of entry (can change weather (maybe time & location) if not accurate)
  3. Rate your mood/day on scale of 1.0-10.0
  4. Create categories to categorize each entry – no category falls under miscellaneous.
  5. Star entries. Starred entries can randomly pop-up in Gentle Reminder Pop=Up
  6. Gentle Reminders containing buttons to create Quick Entry or Snooze or Ignore
  • with encouraging quotes from within app starred entries from you -???
  1. Full Mode Entry –
  • can change background colors
  • format text type & style
  • add pictures, video, music or recording (can add tag info to the A/V files)
  1. Quick Entry mode – plain format – Can switch to full mode (vice versa) or edit in full mode later
  2. Searchable by entire content of entry or hashtags
  3. Publish on FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

 

  1. Chart entries. X-axis shows dates. Y-axis may be:
  • Daily Rating
  • Specific Word(s)
  • Hashtags
  • Categories
  • A/V attachments
  1. All entries entered in personal blog that can be private or published
  2. Entries may be easily published as e-book or printed book

Video Game Launch Kit Contents

Here are images of the documents I took to the printer’s. The image of the Japanese girl and the pond, with the Nancy Drew® logo is a copy of the actual image from the video game, “Shadow at the Water’s Edge.”

Included are the sudoku book cover with my rendition of one of the characters of the video game. The image of the page of cherry blossom “shrinkydinks.” And a foldout of how to create one’s name with the Japanese, Katakana, phonetic alphabet that I will place in a pocket in a notebook for watercoloring.