John Flexman, a former HR executive, was summoned to a disciplinary hearing by his employer of the time due to an action he made via the popular social networking site LinkedIn. Flexman, who had harmlessly posted his CV online and registered an interest in receiving information regarding further ‘career opportunities’ was on holiday in America when he was contacted by his employers, RG group, claiming he had breached new company policy regarding the use of social media.
Flexman attempted to sue the oil-exploration firm for constructive dismissal; however, the employment tribunal has adjourned to postpone the issue until May. While a case like this is a first in the UK, Guardian Jobs believes it does lend itself to the issue of employers using social networking sites to observe employee behavior.
Guardian Jobs also believes that you don’t have to be employed to be under the watchful eye of an employer. According to the job service site, an increasing number of prospective recruiters use social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter to observe employee behavior.
Backing up their statement is a recent survey carried out by Reppler, a social media monitoring service, that found that a staggering 90% of recruiters and potential employers use or have used social networking websites as part of their employment screening process. Also shocking is that they study found that 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate solely based on the content found on the social networking profiles.
In order to remind job seekers of the importance of checking privacy settings on social media websites, Guardian Jobs – via their official Guardian Jobs Facebook page – are advising job seekers to create ‘job specific’ e-mail and Twitter accounts and to monitor their privacy settings.