Teen-Agers on Jobs: No Social Networks, No Thanks

In today’s economy, most people are in no position to turn down a job offer over trivial issues, but teen-agers apparently don’t consider access to social-networking sites to be a trivial issue.

According to the results of the seventh annual Junior Achievement/Deloitte Teen Ethics Survey, 88% of the 1,000 U.S. teens aged 12-17 who were surveyed by telephone use social networks daily, 70% said they spend at least one hour on social-networking sites daily and 58% said access to social networks would be a factor when considering job offers.

Use of social networks isn’t all fun and games, however, as the poll also found that 51% of respondents had used social-networking sites to help others, 44% had used them to encourage or support others and 29% to create awareness for a cause.

Ainar D. Aijala, global managing partner, consulting at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and immediate past chairman of JA Worldwide, said:

From an employer’s perspective, it’s clear that organizations need enhanced training and communication relative to social networking. This is particularly the case when more than one-half of the future talent pool feels so strongly about social networking that their ability to access those sites at work would play into their decision to take a job. Teens who will soon be entering the work force must understand the value of their “personal brand,” that their online postings live in perpetuity, and they also need ethical decision-making tools to help them understand the importance of behaving with integrity on- and offline.