Effects of Social Media on UK Employment

Posted: October 10, 2016

Effects of Social Media on UK Employment

Lee and Ma (2012) describe social media as a collection of online communication channels that help the community to interact with one another. People use such sites for social networking, microblogging, and social curation among others. According to Sigala, Cristou and Caretzel (2012), companies can also use social media for work purposes. They could use them to conduct interviews, apply for jobs and even send the employment contracts to their workers. Also, people in the UK can use the social media platforms to get relevant information about their prospective employers or servants. According to Lee and Ma (2012), many organizations usually look at a person’s profile before deciding whether to hire him or not. If the employers feel that an individual’s conduct is unacceptable, they might end up not hiring that person. Sigala, Cristou and Caretzel (2012) further say that social media in the UK has a significant control on people's employment. This platform is important because people can easily access information about their employers without the need to consult other people. Also, companies advertise their job vacancies on social platforms, and this will help many people to get the information. For those who are already working, they can obtain important communications from their seniors through the utilization of social media.

Many firms in the UK have focused on social media for recruitment and hiring processes. People post their details, and the human resources evaluate them and interview them through the social media. The workers only appear on the reporting date to start working. Sigala, Cristou and Caretzel (2012) also say that many companies prefer this method because it is cheap and convenient. It gives the organization an opportunity to interview people who would not have made it due to long distances. Also, companies can use these platforms to get vital information from their workers. When people use the media, they tend to be more open in their communication as opposed to when they are communicating face to face with the authorities. According to Henning-Thurau, Hofacker and Bloching (2013), the employees should, however, have guidelines of the extent to which they should expose such information. The reason is that some could take advantage and decide to spoil other people’s reputation without cause. The companies could also use these platforms to widen their market. They will source for new contracts and markets for their products through the internet. Once they have a wider market, it will lead to creating more employment to people.

Henning-Thurau, Hofacker and Bloching (2013) further state that although social media has brought progress to the people of the UK, it has more disadvantages than the advantages. First, some employees do not keep their matters private. They announce every small movement concerning their lives on social platforms. Others even post bad things about their company and fellow employees for everyone to see. It is a bad practice, but no matter how hard one tries to stop them, they just keep doing it. The habit could lead to bad relationships with fellow employees at the workplace. Also, if the management gets the information about one giving a bad name to the organization, such a person may end up losing their jobs. To avoid such things from happening, however, Warren, Sulaiman and Jaafar (2014) suggest that an employee could change their posts on social media to be private. Nobody wants everyone at the office to know about their personal lives away from work. Also, someone could stop posting on social media altogether. Although it might be difficult but it will be useful and safer than saying everything that one knows. An individual could also avoid befriending co-workers on social platforms because they might end up exposing anything they see to the company.

According to Warren, Sulaiman and Jaafar (2014), another problem with social media in the UK employment sector is that it might lead to a breach of confidentiality. Employees owe the company a duty of keeping the business’s affairs private. In some instances, one might decide to give out company information through the social platforms. This information ends up circulating among too many people who use the internet. Such could be confidential matters relating to the profit and loss statements, cash flows, potential redundancies and trade secrets. Mabvuure et al. (2014) also put across that once confidential information gets to the public, it is risky to the company because it may lead to a boycott by the customers. Other employees might also consider going on strike once they learn of such information. However, the company can avoid such instances by setting out rules that ban employees from exposing their secrets. Once an employee decides to circulate company’s confidential information, they should face the consequences so that the others learn from him. Studies by Tess (2013) also show that social media can encourage employees to practice cyber bullying on others. If an employee does not like another one, they could devise means of harassing them on social media. Similarly, McDonald and Thompson (2016) show that the employees can even threaten to circulate others private information on the social platforms to intimidate them. An example is if a person has a higher position than others who do not like him. They could damage his reputation to ensure that he loses his job or gets a demotion. Additionally, Lansdall-Welfare, Lampos, and Cristianini (2012) show that employees who want favors from the bosses could use these platforms to make others look bad. These workers prefer such means because it is easier to hide one's identity on spoil other people’s names. To avoid this behavior, Loader, Vromen and Xenos (2014) advice that the management can get means of identifying individuals who use fake identities. It will help then to know when an employee is telling the truth and when they are lying.

According to Hudson et al. (2015), the management can, however, get solutions for all these problems to prevent damage occurring to their companies. They will have clear rules that the employees should not use such media to air their grievances. If one feels that they are getting unfair treatment at work, they could face the management instead of posting it on social platforms for the public to see. Hudson et al. (2015) further state that small issues which people pass on the social platforms could impose a substantial damage to the organization’s reputation. Employees who do not follow the rules should face the disciplinary actions or even leave. Similarly, McDonald and Thomson (2016) feel that organizations could have their private platform where workers post their concerns because some find it hard to face their seniors. By giving them a chance to express themselves, they will not go spoiling the company’s name through other platforms. The employees also waste a lot of time updating their private matters on social platforms. If they do it during working hours, it might lead to low productivity for the organization. Loader, Vromen and Xenos (2014) felt that social media is important in today’s lives, but people should learn to use it responsibly. Companies should come up with actions to ensure that employees do not use them to damage the organization's reputation.

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