How Reviews on Social Media Websites Can Jeopardize Your Chances for Employment
Sites such as Yelp, Google Places, and Yahoo Local offer consumers both the opportunity to post reviews and ratings of businesses they've patronized in the past and the ability to view reviews and ratings of businesses they have yet to experience. Such websites are a great way to promote a business that provides exceptional service, while also constituting a valuable repository of information concerning what businesses potential customers should be wary of. Was last night's Chinese take-out the best meal you've had in months? If so, by all means give it a five-star rating online, and help your favorite restaurant stay in business! Were you made to wait thirty minutes for customer service at the cell phone store only to be scoffed at by the representative? Write a review warning others that this company isn't all its advertisements claim.
While scenarios like these represent appropriate uses of review and ratings websites, job seekers should avoid the temptation to post negative business reviews of companies that have rejected their employment applications. "But why?" you ask, having already resolved to discourage consumers from supporting an organization that rejected you in favor of what you perceive to be an obviously inferior candidate.
Consider this: You're a small-business owner looking to hire a new store manager, and you've just received an outstanding resume in response to your job advertisement. The potential employee possesses years of work experience, has demonstrated strong leadership skills, and has a long list of great references. You've planned to call her to schedule an interview—a formality, really, since she seems a great fit for the position—but before doing so you idly run a Google search of her name. What you discover is anything but the professionalism her resume had led you to expect.
You notice that her signature is attached to multiple negative business reviews—all of them regarding competitors in your area, and geared toward HR departments that, she claims, "clearly have no idea how to spot a good job candidate." Do you continue with the interview process? If so, your options are to hire someone with a major entitlement complex or risk the reputation of your business. You pass on this candidate and make a note to warn others in your industry to keep an eye out for this one.
In the Internet Age, nothing posted online is anonymous. Even accounts registered under fake names typically require e-mail authentication, and online handles can, with a bit of research, almost always be traced back to their creators. It is thus imperative that when seeking employment one project the same degree of professionalism online that he or she would in an interview setting. So go ahead and post a review of your favorite—or least favorite—pizza parlor. But when it comes to businesses for which you were, or will be, a potential employee, keep it professional.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire, temporary placements, and permanent employment placement services.