Article analysis Essay Example

Smith, W. P., & Kidder, D. L. (2010). You’ve been tagged! (Then again, maybe not): Employers and Facebook. Business Horizons, 53(5), 491-499.

The authors argue that there is a substantial level of benefits that emanate from social capital in relation to both stronger and weaker ties formed with others within the community. They support this claim by ascertaining the fact that networks of relationships avail a distinctive set of common norms, values; goals and even a common way of language. In fact, an example of the old days is given where people used such platforms as churches, and unions to network as it allowed individuals to meet influential people and thereafter find pertinent job opportunities through the connections established. The authors note that this sense of community is however different in the application such as Facebook where younger users use the platform as a tool of staying connected with friends while older users use it to reconnect with others for whom they have pertinently lost contact. In essence, these authors note that the use of Facebook between the two users is entirely focused on the issue related to identity creation.

In regards to the sense of identity, the authors argue that the youth will always experience their immediate identities while experimenting with different selves. I agree with these two authors that a positive sense of identity is indeed a fundamental foundation for development of self-esteem. It is noted that Facebook provides the capacity to present to others in terms of pictures posted, hobbies noted as well as other forms of common interests highlighted amongst the users. The immediate efforts behind the formulation of Facebook lies in the fact that its terms and condition that favours open oppression is indeed crucial for younger participants particularly amongst college-going students. The authors use past researches to cement this argument as they note that these researches indicate that students will likely participate in self-disclosure within the online platform than when in individual people.

In this platform, the authors argue that potential job applicants are considered to possess a great set of multiple identities that are based on their life experiences. I agree that Facebook avails a definite amount of freedom to users to select the form of information that they need to disclose within the profiles. Thus, this ultimate absence of immediate social controls that is coupled with a culture of self-expression provides a community set of norms that can be deemed to be inconsistent with a great number of potential employers profile of an employee.

The authors argue that although there are restrictions to be adhered to while working like limited use of such social platforms as Facebook and Twitter, they are still using these platforms and especially Facebook to evaluate job candidates or even the activities of the current employees. Two reasons are given by the authors for this kind of behaviour amongst the employers. First, it is done for the purposes of connecting with future employees. I do not agree with this supposition as it is less problematic and, I do not think that a great percentage of employers are busy analysing social platforms in order to poach a potential employee from a rival firm. In my opinion, this claim is insignificant since the decision to poach an employee is already a done deal and only depends on their performance capacities as opposed to what they have presented in their Facebook profiles. The most notable reason and for which I tend to agree with, lies with the fact that they use it to obtain information for only job applicants and select those deemed to be somehow mature and responsible in their undertakings.

In checking the ethicality of Facebook tags and posts, the authors argue that the individual candidate may not be fully aware of inaccurate information being passed around of them as being correct while it might not be true. I agree with them there is a high probability that an individual might enter false information about another person hence damage their self-identities. A case example of a library assistant of a certain university is provided. Students formed a group that painted him in bad picture just because he was strict in how he conducted his duties at the facility.

In the course of checking the fine print relating to Facebook profiles of potential job applicants, the authors argue that employers are exposed to possible lawsuits especially when the selection criterion adopted is considered to be biased; inconsistent and inaccurate or even discriminatory in nature. The authors provide such legal legislative acts as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that guides on job applicants giving consent to employers; allowing them a free background checks. Further to note, Facebook also provides for policy stipulations that relates to non-commercial statuses and, also restriction of users misrepresentation. Thus, employers are expected to get consent from the potential applicants prior to conducting their searches or rather risk violations of rights of third parties; which is punishable under Stored Communications Act.

According to the authors, the element of privacy is indeed made up of both legal and ethical concerns hence readily define the rights of an individual in relation to the rights of the organisation at hand. I agree with them that organisations possess a legitimate concern related to conducting thorough background checks as a way of avoiding negligent hiring suits. In fact, there is a high chance that people would mostly use privacy claims as an opportunity to deceive other people. Perfect examples of such cases can be seen in the substantial levels of lies found in applicant’s resumes. At the fundamental level, the aspect relate to privacy ascertains the manner for which people control access to themselves and can also be used to effectively realise the element of self-control. In legal terms, the authors note that the degree of limitations of privacy remains to be unclear. I agree with them since some court cases postulate that people have the right to privacy while others have continued the belief that by signing up with Facebook and other social platforms; individuals accept the risk of making personal information accessed publicly.

The article is focused on portraying how organisations can effectively utilise such social platforms not only for the purpose of presenting pertinent organisational information to interested stakeholders but also as a medium for gathering relevant informational data on potential job applicants. The authors agree that the decision of managers using Facebook to try as much as possible to get a potential job applicant’s information is realistic. This is because the platform provides a pertinent and wide variety of information regarding the applicant and at times helps to uncover contradictions submitted with resumes. However, these employers are advised to be cautioned against bias adoption. For instance, it is ascertained that an organisation’s selection criterion could be biased in the event that an applicant’s Facebook profile is made up of inaccurate information or in the case where the applicant’s profile is legally protected and could result to employers going against the privacy acts. The article also notes that the activity related to the employer accessing Facebook page could result to ethical issues and especially an individual’s right to privacy. The authors suggests that the organisations should enhance their organisational identity through the adoption of Facebook; they should emphasise that the use of Facebook information in the selection process will be job-related and purposeful; should analyse the aspect of informational integrity given that some information pertaining to particular people could be deceptive; a user’s profile should be set to private settings to prevent deliberate access and also, endorse typical prohibitive advice for potential job applicants at whatever period of job hunting process.

In relation to the numerous ethical, legal and practical concerns that relate to a job applicant’s Facebook profile, the authors provides pertinent information on the most controversial rationales behind organisations opting to adopt Facebook; popularly ascertained to be privacy-related. Some of the most notable reasons given include; inaccurate tags and posts that could provide inaccurate information of the applicant; the possibility of misinterpreting information from Facebook pages hence employers being biased on their selection process; as well as the legality of invading one’s personal life without their immediate consent. The authors have also managed to cement their arguments with the use of theories. For instance, they have fairly-articulated the social identity theory, which suggests that identity plays a critical role in the interpretation of a job applicant’s information presented within their respective pages. The authors have also used real life case examples of how Facebook groups have been used to present inaccurate and biased information of particular employees without their consent of even knowledge.

In my future paper, I would focus on using this information to explore an even extensive research question that relates to how social media platforms continue being used to access the potentiality of recruiting specific job applicants. I will focus on understanding whether organisations take precautions in ensuring to maintain privacy rights of these potential applicants.