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Employers’ policy on social media influences potential employees:

Hays white paper
Updated: 01 Mar 2014

An employers’ attitude to social media access at work is now impacting on whether or not a candidate will take a job, says recruiting experts Hays.

Latest figures show one in five candidates (19.7 per cent) would turn down a job if they did not have reasonable access to sites such as Facebook at work, prompting the need for organisations to ensure they have up-to-date policies in place, according to Hays.

The latest statistics come from a new white paper by Hays, titled Tomorrow’s Workforce, which looks at four key issues affecting the future of Australia’s workforce: the advancement in technology, globalisation of the jobs market, diversity and the rise of the ‘orange collar’ worker. More than 870 employers and candidates were surveyed by Hays for the white paper.

The survey results suggest employees now and in the future will expect to be allowed a reasonable level of access to social media at work for personal use. It found that half of those surveyed already access social media for personal reasons. Of these, 13.3 per cent said they access it daily, while 36.4 per cent access it occasionally.

Employers seem to agree with the expectations of candidates – 44.3 per cent believe that allowing employees to access social media at work will improve their retention levels. Already one third (33.2 per cent) allow their employees access at work, while 43.2 per cent allow limited access. Just 23.7 per cent allow no access at work.

However, more than half (56.3 per cent) of those who said they accessed social media at work for personal reasons, did not use their own devices to do so, meaning they were using company equipment. And one quarter (25.3 per cent) of employees said they did not have a clear understanding of how to represent their organisation on social media.

“It is important to have a social media policy covering how social media is used for work-related matters, the use of it for personal matters at work, and what employees can and cannot say about your organisation in the social media world,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia.

“If access to social media sites is allowed during working hours, the purpose of access should be made clear as should the acceptable level of use.”

Hays’ tips for social media policies:

  • Spell out how social media should be used during work hours and if it will be monitored;
  • Make it clear that company email accounts should not be used to sign up for social media sites used for personal reasons;
  • You can request that work-related complaints are brought to the attention of the appropriate internal person rather than made via social media; and
  • Explain how misuse of social media will be dealt with.


To read Hays’ white paper, please go to hays.com.au/media-centre and select Tomorrow’s Workforce on the top left hand side.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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