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01 October 2023

Employers using Facebook to dig up dirt

What you put on your social networking accounts could affect your job. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. (AFP)

By Sunil Kumar Singh

Next time you log in and post offhand comments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or upload any pictures on YouTube or any other social media sites, remember it could put your job search in jeopardy.

For, employers in the UAE are looking beyond the CV now to separate the wheat from the chaff and to scrutinise a candidate more closely before making a decision whether to hire him/her or not. And for this, the one potent tool they are increasingly making use of is the social networking websites.

“More and more, no longer are CVs the main criteria for hiring. Although they give a potential employer an indication of the background of a candidate’s skill set, utilising sources such as LinkedIn, Facebook and other forms of social networking are becoming a must for employers when reviewing a candidate’s background,” Denise McAnulty, Country Manager for Manpower Middle East, told Emirates 24|7.

“Social networking is becoming one of the most popular forms as the place to be seen as a candidate, be that either active or passive. This will increasingly replace the CV of yesterday,” McAnulty added.

Adds Amer Zureikat, Vice President (Sales), Bayt.com, the regional job website: “With the surge of Internet usage today, working professionals worldwide make it a point to have their CVs posted on leading online jobsites and many of them are also active on online social networks. Employers in the Middle East and beyond are today naturally resorting to the Internet to dig deeper into the history/ activities/ credential/accomplishments of a potential candidate online.”

Over 80 per cent of professionals in the Middle East state that online communication has replaced traditional means of their communication in their life, may it be socially, job search related, or else. It is thus very crucial for professionals to understand the dynamics of the world of the online and be very selective vis-a-vis what they do and do not share online beyond their CV- i.e.: no divulgence of corporate confidential information, no unkind remarks about current or former company/boss/colleagues, etc,” said Zureikat.

Recruitment experts add that it’s now much easier for employers to gather data about a person or a candidate through social media sites.

“Checking a candidate’s credentials through his profiles on social media sites is something that is coming more now than before, but especially among multinational companies and across all levels of employees,” Ian Giulianotti, Associate Director (Recruitment and Training), Nadia, the UAE-based recruitment, training and HR consultancy firm, said.

He said companies are now finding it a lot easier to know more about a candidate through his social media profiles, such as how a candidate brands himself, apart from the information about a candidate’s interpersonal traits.

Experts also add that examining a candidate’s credentials through social media sites is a global trend, not limited to the region, and that social media would enable employers to have greater access to a candidate’s background, which they may not get from a CV.

“The global phenomenon in the growth of social networks is having a significant impact on the world of work and on job markets. Because of social networks continuous dimension, most social networks will also play a continuing role in the evaluation of individuals,” McAnulty said.