The reality is, most of us do have an office personality, and come weekend or our downtime, we appear to be completely different people. It is not that we have two different characters; it is that the code of ethics in the workplace dictates how we work during offices hours. Outside of that, we are allowed to be free about who we are.
Filters aside, one of the places we can be ourselves is on our social media platforms. We are most free with our thoughts and opinions and don’t necessarily find the need to censor ourselves because the people we have friends or family that follow us. Well, surveys such as one by CareerBuilder show that 70 percent of employers look at candidates social media accounts before hiring them.
What are employers looking for in your social media account?
Potential employers have several reasons to snoop on your profile before hiring you. If you just came from a job interview and suddenly have a request from someone you don’t know, that could be someone from the HR department snooping. Not to invite paranoia, but according to CareerBuilder, three in every ten employers have someone dedicated to snooping candidates’ accounts.
What they are looking for is whether you have the qualifications you state you do have. We have posted about something about our jobs; that is what they are looking for. Another reason behind their wanting to view private Instagram accounts or other platforms is to see if you have a professional online persona. Profile pages flooded with pictures of you at various drinking engagements will likely lose you a spot in the company. On the other hand, charity events and intellectual content on your page increase your chances of getting hired.
From the same survey, we are told employers also what to see what people are posting about you. They will stalk what people post and your comments section to see how people view you. Arguments or statements condemning your posts will cause an eyebrow to life. However, if you are respectful when sharing differing views, you’re likely in the clear. A smaller percentage of employers look for any reason why they should not hire you.
What can cause an employer not to hire you?
Before answering this question, it is vital to know that over 50 percent of employers have found reasons to refuse to hire a candidate based on their social media content. With that in mind, the advice here is to steer clear of the below practices that might cause you to miss your spot in a company.
- Your user name is inappropriate, along with the accompanying profile picture
- Posting inappropriate content that is either inappropriate or promotes semi or full nudity
- An indication that you drink alcohol or abuse drugs or linked to criminal behavior
- Being insensitive to other races, cultures, gender, etc. and posting discriminatory statements
- People have shown great discontentment or dislike toward former employers or colleagues and proceeded to share confidential information on the same.
- Provided incorrect information in your resume or during the interview
- Proof that you have poor people and communication skills or on the other extreme of posting too frequently
How can employers view private Instagram accounts?
Given that the topic is if employers can view private Instagram accounts, we can conclude that they can do so. Typically they will use someone you have not met or are not affiliated with the company as per the photos, videos or stories they share. The said person will send you a request. If they have a compelling enough bio and a clear image, you will likely have no reason to decline their request.
Once you accept, the person is at liberty to view your content. The person will have plenty of time on their hands, enough to scroll till your first post. Simply put, that is how employers can view private Instagram accounts of potential candidates. They intend to vet you. On the page, they will either find content that will work for or against you.
What we have highlighted is the legal route to which a potential or even your current employer can get a glimpse into your personal life. Other ways have emerged that violate Instagram privacy policies and allow people who don’t follow you to view your content. These are Instagram viewer apps that you sign up for. Some are free while others are paid. These private Instagram viewer tools are unethical, but some will go this extra mile to view your account even though you’ve specified to the public that it is a private account.
Employers are aware that Instagram viewer apps are unethical and would opt out of using them. However, a rogue employee tasked with finding out more about you might unknowingly choose to use these tools. If placed in a position where you have to look up other employees or candidates, it is advisable that you don’t use the private Instagram viewer platforms. Some of the sites are scams. They require you to fill in a survey to use the platform, but their intention behind that extra step is to gain your personal information.
Using these Instagram apps that allow you to use private accounts is not the best approach as you are likely to get more than you gained for. If you pay for the app, you find out there are extra charges that you didn’t bargain for but still get deducted. To avoid such trouble, it is best to use the approach of sending a friend request.
Companies are meant to model societal values of excellence, and respecting someone’s privacy falls under that. Therefore, should you be an employer, abide by Instagram privacy laws when vetting candidates. They might not know who you are when accepting the follow request, but it is still the appropriate approach to take. Equally, candidates can also check their privacy settings to keep their accounts safe from prying eyes.