With social media background checks now the norm in the recruitment process, incriminating pictures and posts can cost you your reputation and potentially your job, industry professionals have warned.
Leading Property Managers of Australia (LPMA) director Darren Hunter said he thinks property managers and people in the real estate industry need to be careful about what they post and choose to post on social media sites.
“It is up to people working in the real estate industry to understand that we are managing people’s multi-hundred thousand dollar investments and therefore our customers are very judgemental about the people who are managing their biggest investment,” he told Residential Property Manager.
“Therefore principals think the same way.
“Although we are allowed to live and have fun, getting smashed on the weekend or popping pills at parties or behaviour of that nature is generally still very unaccepted and can reflect very poorly on a principal's trust.
“Really there is very little information that we can go on to actually work out a person’s true colours,” he added.
Mr Hunter said an aspect of social media that property managers need to be very careful of is Facebook ‘tagging’.
“PMs need to adjust their settings so they can approve anything posted to their timeline,” he said.
“They need to approve any ‘tagging’ because tagging can be a picture or something compromising and can really ruin your reputation.”
Real+ business manager Hermione Gardiner said it is important to remember the power of social media and the social networks you are a part of.
“The online world leaves us with far less than six degrees of separation, so be mindful of what you’re posting and who can see it,” she told Residential Property Manager.
“This ties over to what you are posting on social media - employees taking a sickie have been caught out many a time through posting photos or status updates on social media.
“In property management, where much trust is placed in the employee spending time out of the office, we have even seen employees being disciplined and even losing their job once it was discovered where they were really spending their time - during work hours - through investigations on social media,” she added.
Also speaking to Residential Property Manager, RECD general manager Daniel Gonsalves said as soon as principals get a CV they will then put that name straight into Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – they will check everything.
“The first phone call I normally get is not to talk about the skills of the candidate; they say ‘Daniel, I have just seen this candidate on Facebook, what the hell is that they have on their head’,” he said.
“It doesn’t even have to be that outlandish – one guy was quite conservative and he looked up the candidate on Facebook, and it was just him and he had an earring in, which he didn’t have in the interview, and he was hanging out with some mates at a festival.
“And the principal said ‘I’m not sure about this’. At the end of the day he is a 24 year-old, those things need to be taken into consideration,” he added.