Why it’s important to cyber-stalk yourself

Have you checked out your social media footprint lately?

Well, maybe you should.

Here’s why…

Jobvite’s 2014 annual Social Recruiting Survey shows exactly what hiring managers are looking for when they check out your social media sites.

And the results may shock you.

The data shows a staggering 93% of bosses are checking out potential employees social media profile before making a final hiring decision.  Of these, 55% admit to reconsidering a candidate based on what they found online.


Employers note the biggest turn-offs on potential candidates on-line profiles as including any reference to drugs, poor grammar and spelling, and any reference to sexual activity.

On the plus side, most employers are engaging social media to recruit staff now, with 94% using LinkedIn and 64% using Facebook to advertise a job.  In fact, 73% of all jobs offered are now filled through social media.

Starting to panic?

There are various sites available to check out your social media footprint.   Or anyone else’s you may have an interest in…just saying.

Google and Google Images are a good starting point.  Then there’s Pipl.com and Spezify.com if you want to up the ante on your stalking.  You can even check for a criminal record.  Gives a new meaning to the whole concept of ‘checking references’.

How can you make this right? 


In truth, it’s difficult.  Check out this article on How easy it is to delete yourself from the web

I’m sure the day will come, and very soon, where we will be able to contract a company to erase our social media history, at an affordable price.  It may not too bad for those of us who only discovered social media in our twenties, when most of our crazy days were behind us, but for those who grew up in the shadows of social media platforms, it really is a different story.  For many, their social media history created in their carefree teenage years, may haunt them long into their thirties and beyond.

Surely this isn’t fair or right?  Or is it?  Is this the true meaning of freedom of information?

Check out this social media experiment carried out by Jack Vale Films.  It’ll make you think before you post…


The Importance of Online Monitoring

The rise in citizen journalism means that organisations need to constantly monitor what is being said about them on-line.  Public relations professionals need to be the ‘ears’ and ‘eyes’ of an organisation and seek out what is being said about the brand.  

Here at Communications Hub we use many free tools to monitor what is being said about our clients online  – Twitter advanced search, Google alerts andsocialmention.com.

And while it is possible to mostly control what appears on a company’s own social media news feeds using word filters and administrative pre-approval of comments, it is impossible to control hashtags associated with an organisation.

McDonalds learned this the hard way when in 2012 they created the hashtag #McDStories in the hope of inspiring people to share their memories and happy experiences associated with the fast food chain.  The company soon discovered that it is the public who control the meaning of hashtags, and theirs was quickly hijacked to become the hashtag for horror stories involving McDonalds.

Burger King suffered a different kind of social media crisis when in 2013 its Twitter account with 82,000 followers was hacked.  The hacker changed their logo and twitter handle to that of McDonalds and tweeted a huge number of tweets containing inappropriate contents and images.  The hack went unnoticed for hours, by which time the incident had gone viral. The company not only learned an important lesson about password security and the need for moderators, it also experienced first-hand what happens when you are not constantly listening on-line.  On the plus side, the food chain gained thousands of new followers because of the incident.

Despite often having ‘expert’ social media teams, some of the biggest and most tech-savvy organisations continue to suffer social media fails.  Last year The Guardian published an article on The top five corporate Twitter fails and it makes for some very uncomfortable reading.

The moral of the story is, it’s no longer just your P’s and Q’s you need to mind, watch your Hashtags too…make sure your company is monitoring its online profile.

The Online Working Day

Being annoyed by your employer sending out of hours emails? Well, it may soon be illegal for them to do so – in Germany anyway.

German Employment Minister Andrea Nahles is considering new “anti-stress” legislation, banning companies from contacting employees out of hours.   The move is a reaction to rising levels of workplace stress in the country.

German Employment Minister Andrea Nahles (image: Thomas Rodenbucher/flickr)

“There is an undeniable relationship between constant availability and the increase of mental illness. We have commissioned the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to work out whether it is possible to set load thresholds. We need universal and legally binding criteria” according to Nahles

It is already illegal in Germany for employers to contact staff during holidays. Several major companies such as Volkswagen and BMW have also implemented their own restrictions on contacting employees out of hours.

Recently, car manufacturer Daimler installed software on its systems which automatically deletes emails sent to staff out of hours.

Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

(Image Steve Pepple/Flickr)

That’s one of the problems living in the digital age – we are always ‘on’.  Your employer probably wouldn’t ring your land line at 11 p.m. on a Friday night, but wouldn’t think twice about sending that email.

Social Etiquette 

There’s almost a sense that on-line communications are virtual, and therefore don’t warrant the same social norms as regular off-line communications.  And because we are all pretty much on-line 24/7 now, there’s an expectation that you are available 24/7 too.

Gone are the days of clocking out of the office and retreating to your private life. Your private life is now interlinked with your professional life, especially if you are a social media user.

So when your boss sends you that email at 11.00 p.m., it’s hard to claim you didn’t receive it – chances are your boss has already spotted that tweet you just posted, and knows you’re online.

Mental Health 

Is it any wonder then that mental health issues are spinning out of control in Ireland, with an estimated one in four people affected.   Being unable to switch off because of technology and the changes in how we communicate, are becoming a major cause of anxiety, stress and sleep deprivation.

The growing connection between work and mental health issues led to the HSE recently publishing a guide to help employers reduce the likelihood and effects of work related stress.

(the dynamic turnaround)

It’s a small step in the right direction, but not nearly enough to really make a difference.

What Now?

Will Ireland follow Germany’s lead and make it illegal for employers to contact employees outside of work hours?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, when you clock out at 5.30, make sure you clock out on-line too.

What’s the story with content?

Ok I’ll admit it, I’m a little obsessed on content.  And when people hear me rattling on about it, most glaze over or politely smile while steadily reversing.  So what’s the story with content you may ask? Why is it so important?


While content has always been important when communicating through the traditional channels, like radio, television and newspapers, it was never really vital.  These ‘old media’ methods of advertising were one-way communications, they were broadcasts and press releases.  People listened to them because they pretty much hadn’t a choice.  These were the days before the World Wide Web, when the channels through which people got their news and entertainment were limited.  They were the days before sky plus and podcasts.  The days before we could pick and choose what information was relevant or interesting to us, and fast forward through the boring ads. Continue reading “What’s the story with content?”