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Social media big part of hiring process, say employers

Published:Monday | December 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Elon Parkinson
Jacqueline Coke Lloyd

Social media is now a big part of the vetting process when hiring individuals for at least two organisations.

Weighing in on The Gleaner's series, which is assessing whether social-media postings can affect a person's job prospects, Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager at Digicel, said the international telecommunications company is very much interested in potential employees' social-media usage.

"As part of our overall vetting process, we may check a prospective employee's social-media presence. Oftentimes it's the LinkedIn profile that could give us additional information about the person's professional background," said Parkinson.

"On LinkedIn, we look for how you promote your personal brand, testimonials from colleagues, and other useful information that could add some context to your rÈsumÈ and help us to find what we are looking for in a candidate for the particular role."

Parkinson shared, however, that while Digicel has never had to deny or rescind job offers because of inappropriate social-media postings, it was crucial that jobseekers exercise good judgement and ensure that their social-media accounts portray them in a positive light. He added that a responsible social media presence could help their chances of being accepted.

"It is becoming increasingly important, because the way people present themselves on social media is indicative of their level of judgement when it comes to whether they would post provocative, discriminatory or inappropriate content," said the public relations and communications manager.

Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd, managing director of Make Your Mark Consultants, has similar views, noting that social media assists in a major way to determine employees' interests and personality.

"Social media is important in our recruitment process, not only for our staff but for all the clients that we recruit for. One's social-media footprint gives an indication of your interests, asset and/or risk to the organisation, abilities, connections, personality, communication style, perceptions, views and preferred level of engagement," Coke-Lloyd told The Gleaner.

"If you're not active on social media, we want to know why. That would also be of interest and give us an idea of your personality type."

She noted, too, that it's not a one-size-fit-all approach.

"Again, it depends on what job you are seeking, because there are some jobs which require you to be very open and animated, and there are others that require you to be professional, circumspect and private," said Lloyd.