Every issue Real World invites students and graduates to write about whatever’s got your goat. This issue, Alessandro Curcuruto and Nadine Naguib argue the toss over social networking and the workplace. You can join the argument at www.facebook.com/realworldmaguk or submit your own work for next issue. For more info go here.
Are employers on Facebook increasing your chances or invading your privacy?
Facebook is the giant of social networking with around 800 million users. But now employers are increasingly using it to reach out to candidates, communicate with them and even screen them before an interview.
What was once a genuinely social network now has an undeniable business element too. If it happened in the offline world – if future employers decided to drop in on us in the pub or on holiday and see how we behaved – wouldn’t we think they had crossed a line? Or would we be
happy that it had taken some of the pressure off the application and made sure that the best person really did get the job? Two graduates make the case for and against meeting your future boss on Facebook.
Alessandro Curcuruto is studying a Masters in Applied Economics at the Université Paris Dauphine
“The internet has unlimited potential. We shouldn’t be scared of it.”
The first thing we learn during the first hour of first day of marketing class is: “If a product is successful without being part of a trend or advertisement, it means it has answered other latent needs.”
I have always thought that Facebook was a Trojan horse and that behind the very first impression of the tool (chatting girls up or wasting your day surfing), there were a multitude of potentials: communicating, sharing files, and more speed compared to email.
Employers didn’t waste their time and were soon were exploiting this cyber space to be close to the grads to improve recruiting conditions. I believe that Facebook was created because there was a latent need to communicate more efficiently and quicker.
Critics say there is no longer a separation between public and private life but isn’t that what had already happened with mobile phones? And if we really have things to hide, why not just create two separate accounts?
The internet is only a means, and if we are capable of exploiting it to its best, it has unlimited potential. We shouldn’t be scared of it, especially today, when finding a job is so difficult. Finding a new way to bring closer those looking for work and those offering it can only be a good thing.
Nadine Naguib is studying English at Oxfrod University
“The ‘me’ on Facebook will never, ever be the ‘me’ at work.”
Employers and Facebook do not mix, under any circumstances. Sure, they might want to get to know the ‘real’ you – but why?
The ‘me’ they’ll see is the one who greets them at interviews, pristinely dressed in a pressed suit and shiny shoes. The ‘me’ on Facebook with smeared makeup and a drunken squint will never, ever be the ‘me’ at work. So why do they need to know about it? Everyone needs their own space to relax, let their hair down, act a little crazy.
Everyone knows that space can’t be at work. But with employers on Facebook, are we just never supposed to act normal? Must we censor the pictures we take and the friends we make and the pages we like so that potential future employers will think of us as good all-round candidates? No, no, no! The worlds of work and Facebook were made separately, so let’s keep them that way.