Total transparency

The US recently announced that it might look at years of social media history for those applying for a visa. This raises some questions about free speech, personal privacy and how it all relates to what decisions someone can or can’t make as it relates to another person.

For some time now, employers have looked at a candidate’s social media to determine whether they’re a good fit for the organization. In fact, The Independent reported in 2015 that over one third of employers in the UK do in fact use social media to recruit – a percentage that has likely gone up in the last three years and is likely to increase. It gets better – there are lots of stories in the news about employers looking at the social media usage of existing employees as well in an effort to monitor behavior.

I’m not here to pass judgement on the topic but I do think it raises good questions about the impressions we want to make by the things we share about ourselves publicly in a world where images and words can be totally misconstrued and misinterpreted. The type of transparency we need is the type that builds trust amongst employers and employees and tells customers that the organization is one that they can align with.

Maybe the ongoing dialogue of social media use will create a healthy fear in helping us all shape our values to a finer degree. It isn’t about controlling people’s social media use, it’s about building better employee and customer engagement which ultimately helps shape views and behavior.


Your brand promise is as much about what you say as it is what you do and how others see you in the market.

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