Many employers now regularly visit social networking sites to pro-actively recruit and source candidates. The older eRecruitment model of automate it and they will come, is quickly being abandoned in favour of the social recruitment philosophy of meet them where they are. Since social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, etc. are all public forums, by default your profile, connections and information on those sites are set to “public”/”everyone”. This means if you haven’t changed your privacy settings information you post is readily available and searchable on the internet. That includes video’s, photo’s, status updates, photos you are tagged in, etc., which also appear on your network/friends wall and news feeds.
There have been a number of articles, blogs and new casts cautioning people to be careful about how they portray themselves on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. There have even been cases around the world where candidates have been passed over for jobs or employees terminated for posts they have written about their company or fellow employees on Facebook and Twitter.
With Big Brother (internet) housing all of this information how can you keep your private information secure, so it isn’t available all over the internet?
Here are few things you can do to keep information private on the internet:
1. Adjust your privacy settings on all your social networking accounts: Every social networking platform has specific privacy settings that you can adjust. Facebook for example, allows you to limit who can see your information, provide an approval process for pictures others have tagged you in, and create lists to categorize people you know. This is just a few examples.
- Part 1 Facebook Privacy Settings Tutorial
- Part 2 Facebook Privacy Settings Tutorial
- Click here for a tutorial on how to change your Twitter privacy settings.
- Click here for a tutorial on how to change your Google+ privacy settings.
2. Use “lists”/ “circles” to help categorize your friends, acquaintances, family, colleagues, etc.: If you want to use a single social networking platform such as Facebook or Google+ to share information with your friends, colleagues, family, etc. you should develop lists/circles to help categorize what information you want people to see. For example, if you want to post information to your non-work friends about a party you went to on the weekend, you can create a list to determine who should receive those updates. This is a quick and easy way to direct information to those you intended if for. Click here to see a tutorial on how to create friend lists in Facebook.
3. Use LinkedIn as your professional marketing tool: While sites like Facebook are looking to integrate your business and professional life into one neat little package, there still are cross overs between your personal and professional profile. For example, if you choose to use the Glassdoor or Branchout app on Facebook, your Facebook profile picture will be used. Instead, use a single platform like LinkedIn which has been globally marketed as a professional networking tool. This will allow you to focus on building your professional network and marketing yourself in a professional way. You can then adjust your privacy settings to filter out unwanted solicitations or junk. Click here to see how you can change your privacy settings on LinkedIn.
4. Routinely revisit your privacy settings: As new features get rolled out (e.g. Facebook Timeline) there may be additional privacy settings you can change to keep your information secure. It’s a good habit to check-in once a quarter to see if there are new privacy settings available to you.
5. Periodically clean up your friends: Friends come and go. It’s a good idea to periodically do a spring cleaning of your friends and friend lists. For those you only want to connect with professionally, think about having them as a LinkedIn connection rather than a personal connection.
6. Always abide by your company’s Code of Conduct: If you are posting information about your company or fellow employees you should be well versed on what is deemed suitable content to be posted.
Happy tidying up!
Written by Ann Barrett- Director, eRecruitment & Social Media Strategy