*The below is not be reused without the author’s permission*
Social media can be defined as “user-driven technologies such as blogs, social networks and video-sharing platforms. Collectively these social technologies have enabled a revolution in user generated content, global community and the publishing of consumer opinion, now uniformly tagged as social media.” (Smith, 2009, page 559) Currently, the most popular forms of social media are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Many people also use blogs to share their views with the public.
These tools have helped many recruiters increase their talent pool and find more applicants from social networking tools such as LinkedIn, which allows users to create an online resume and network with people from similar industries. In the article, The Use Of Social Networking Websites As a Recruiting Tool For Employers, the author states that more employers are using social networking sites to hire employees. “According to a survey conducted by Careerbuilder.com (2010), 45% of companies in 2009 used social networking websites as a screening tool for job applicants.” (Vicknair, Elkersh, Yancey, Budden, 2010, page 7)
Moreover, according to Workplace impact of social networking “social networking can facilitate networked conversation, information-sharing and problem solving.” (Bennett, Owers, Pitt and Tucker, 2009, page 146). Social media tools can help organizations provided incredible marketing, recruiting, and customer relations benefits. These tools have made it easier and cheaper to advertise employment opportunities and connect with existing and potential customers globally.
Along with the benefits of using social networking, the research outlines some challenges for any organization using social media. One of the main concerns about social media is the inappropriate use of social media by employees who have published confidential information can harm an organization’s trade secrets if posted on a social network site, which competitors can view and use to gain competitive advantage. The article The use of social media: an exploration study of usage among digital natives looks at the new generation the digital natives who use “social media sites where they can participate in discussion about different ideas and get involved in cultural conversation.” (Williams, Crittenden, Keo and McCarty, 2012, page 128)
This generation enters the workforce using social media as a common tool to express their thoughts, which can be harmful for an organizations reputation and potential risk of leaking confidential information. The article Blogging Phobia hits Employers illustrated the case of “Mark Jen, who was fired by Google in early 2005 after he posted comments in his personal blog alluding to the financial strength of the company and suggesting that some of the company’s perks were ‘thinly veiled timesavers to keep you at work’” (Massey, 2005, page 15)