The use of social media is no longer limited to sharing personal and friends’ photos and videos. With the growing importance and use of social media, some companies are now also monitoring the social media accounts of job seekers before taking them on board to ascertain the traits of the individual.

The Dubai-based Aries Group of Companies, which has a presence in 25 countries and employs over 2,200 employees, is one of the major groups that look at the social media profiles of the employees prior to hiring them.

Sir Sohan Roy, founder and CEO of Aries Group, said they don’t consider them as their employees but as a family.

“We think of all the Aries as family members, not staff, so we mould them into the best personalities. So to get into that admission is not easy. There are so many filtration happenings when selecting (new employee). We are not looking for marks. We look at character. There is a huge process involving checking social media pages etc. (of employees before taking them on board). We also ensure that all 2,200 employees are trained properly,” said Sir Roy.

The UAE is rated the 'social media capital of the world' by Proxyrack, a provider of proxies and residential VPN services. Moreover, the UAE also has the highest percentage of people with Facebook at over 100 per cent.

Lauren Swan, a recruitment consultant on the banking and financial services team at Cooper Fitch, stressed that it can be important that employees maintain an element of professionalism on their social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, because sometimes companies may ask employees to share any relevant social media profiles during security checks throughout the hiring process.

In addition to LinkedIn, as it is designed specifically with business networking in mind, sometimes employers can ask employees to share their Twitter/Instagram/Facebook profiles.

“People should be mindful of their social media as it is our experience that it does get checked throughout the process,” said Swan.

“Social media platforms can provide an insight into people’s lives and can be a useful tool to get to know someone better on a more personal level – if they share such content on their social platforms,” she said, adding that not many employees’ social media platforms are scrutinized or even checked by most companies in the UAE during the hiring process.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to the person's professional background, skills, and how they perform during the actual interview process,” Swan concluded.

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