In 2015, McDonald, Thompson highlighted the risks associated with candidate profiling for recruitment, where “…the gathering of information by employers on employees via online search engines or individual social media sites in order to select an appropriate job applicant. Profiling appears to be a pervasive employer practice.” This is a trend that is increasing year-on-year with “70% of employers are snooping on candidates’ social media profiles” (Salm, 2017). If students had an opportunity to see everything they’ve made public across social media, in curated space, would this encourage them to proactively adjust how they used social media to enhance their own employability? Am I Hired?, developed at the University of Lincoln, enables students to consider just that.
Use of the Am I Hired? to date has revealed interesting trends in way students use social media and case studies have provided evidence of students taking proactive and positive steps to adjust and improve their social media profiles.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
Am I Hired? allows users to create a ‘social media CV’ providing a snapshot of their public profile in one, curated space. The tool was developed from a graduate intern project pitched by Lincoln alumni, now working at the University, in the summer of 2016 and following consultancy and development, a BETA version launched in October 2017 and has, to date, received over 2,000 unique views from students.
Submitted as a wildcard for this year’s conference, this presentation will address the issue of student social media use, how this can impact on employability and what digital technology can do to combat this issue by informing and educating students so that they are empowered to take ownership of what they share publicly on social media and the impact of doing so.
The session will cover: the vision behind the initiative, practical implementation, unexpected benefits and problems, reflections, and plans for moving forward and next steps. Video output and a live demonstration will feature throughout.
Building on the unique way in which public facing social media posts are shared with the user, Am I Hired? Has been built from the ground up to feature embedded advice and guidance from the University of Lincoln’s careers and employability service, designed to educate and inform students of best practice when using social media. Video content is embedded throughout the tool, created by Lincoln’s student video support assistants, and after using the tool students can take away a PDF export of their ‘social media CV’ which they are encouraged to take away and use to inform changes and improvements to their social media usage, before coming back and giving Am I Hired? Another try.
So far, results from the BETA launch of the tool have proved positive, with over 60% of students going on to generate an output of their social media usage and use the tool to its full potential. Indeed, some have acted immediately on the results, shocked by what they’ve seen and unaware that it was publicly available to a future employer, while others have used the results to help them develop businesses and open new social media accounts to share their practice with a wider audience.
McDonald, P & Thompson, P (2015). Social Media(tion) and the Reshaping of Public/Private Boundaries in Employment Relations. [online] Wiley Online Library. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/ijmr.12061 [Accessed 22 March 2018].
Salm, L (2017). 70% of employers are snooping candidates’ social media profiles. [online] CareerBuilder. Available at: https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/social-media-survey-2017 [Accessed 22 March 2018].
Resources for participants