The digital world has made interconnectivity easier than ever, which means the line between an individual’s personal life and his or her professional life is blurring. Websites and social applications such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are providing a portal into the lives of co-workers and friends in ways never previously possible.
According to a paper by staffing experts Joel A. Klarreich and Jason B. Klimpl, social media outlets may be excellent platforms for staffing employees to network, locate potential candidates and promote their agency’s business, but those same tools can create problems. One of the easiest ways to resolve issues before they ever occur is for a staffing firm, while using recruiting software, to outline a social media policy for all employees, and job candidates A social media policy can help avoid an awkward situation from developing and provide a procedure if anything were to occur – alleviating a lot of the stress that can occur.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued three reports detailing social media use in the workplace. A Mashable article detailing the reports suggests that the last one regards the design of social media policies.
“[The report] provides a window into what the NLRB considers legal and illegal, not only with respect to employers who discipline employees based solely on social media content that employees publish, but also as to social media policies that employers implement,” Eric B. Meyer, a partner in the labor and employment group of the law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP, told the news source.
The report isn’t the law, but it does offer businesses, including staffing firms, the details that would make crafting a social media policy easier – offering a checklist of items to keep in mind.
Eliot Johnson, senior manager of global social media at KPMG told the news source how he and his coworkers went about designing KPMG’s social media policy.
“As part of our global social media strategy, we’ve created a series of foundational materials to enable our global network, one of which was the social media guidelines. There was much debate about whether this should be a policy or a set of guidelines. In the end we chose the latter given there were already policies in place; particularly with regards to client confidentiality, protection of intellectual property and our brand,” he said.
Managers must be aware of how their corporate brand identity can be made or broken when expressed via social media. According to the paper from Klarreich and Klimpl, a third-party looking in on a comment could be led to believe that a worker is speaking on behalf of the company, which is why it is important to focus on outlining what can and can’t be said about the company.
Furthermore, staffing firms should be open with employees and candidates that monitoring their social media accounts is lawful in pursuit of protecting business interests. Staffing firm recruiting software can be used to research and manage job candidates – allowing staffers to determine the professionalism of workers displayed on social media networks to see if they are the right fit. The demeanor, tone and topics a job candidate discusses on their social media networks could enhance his or her professional credibility if posts concern industry topics.