Social Networks in a hiring process

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      • Flapjack

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        La justice poursuit le corps au-delà de toute souffrance possible. Michel Foucault (Surveiller et punir)

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        Hi everyone,

        What do you think about using social network profiles to check the applicants? It's becoming widely used and since a few years ago very popular among the employers. I read some studies which show that employers even make their decisions based on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace profiles (35%).

        And some of the reasons are:

        Candidate posted
                                      - provocative or inappropriate photographs or information,

                                      - content about them drinking or using drugs

        Candidate
                          - bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients

                          -  showed poor communication skills

                          - made discriminatory comments

                          - lied about qualifications

                          - shared confidential information from previous employer

        It certainly has its advantages and I can understand employers to a certain extent but is it really necessary.  Of course, there's a question about the individual freedom.
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          Yes I have heard of this. 

          One person I know was offered a job and it was then retracted because of their facebook profile.  The thing is, in England, it is actually illegal to give a poor reference to a new employer i.e. they can't voice an opinion on their ex employee only tell them the simple questions they are asked like amount of sickness and whether they were punctual or not etc. so I guess facebook is a great way to get the lowdown on someone.

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          genenco

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          There's been several instances where employees have been fired for what they said or did. That's why you have a choice to either keep your opinions to yourself, of have another outlet for your anger.

          Personally, I never got on FB, I did sign up but never went back, I had a very stressful time with one company and so I would rant on anger.net and believe me, I felt so good afterward.

          Never used names, but positions.
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          drpsyce38

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          We do checks at my businesses.  And that includes FB.  Folks, plenty of seemingly "normal" people have odd double lives.  A clue to this double life, if one exists, is on FB. 

          Also, we have a policy if any employee talks badly (that includes internet posts) about the company, then they are fired immediately.  Working is not a right.  You need to have excellent work ethic, marketable skills, and get along with people....or time to hit-the-road.
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          The bank I used to work for wouldn't allow employees to mention the bank name of FB. If they did, they were asked to remove it.

          I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm torn. I agree with it to a certain extent but I could see how one person may have a sense of humor that another doesn't agree with. It doesn't make them a bad person or unworthy of a job. If there were serious issues on their FB or Titter accounts then I could see a reason not to hire. But it's about the work isn't it? Then again if they were soliciting prostitution on their accounts then I could understand not hiring them. See i'm torn...
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          Yes, I see the benefits of checking the profiles and especially if an employee talks bad about a company, that doesn't really make sense. 

          Feelin froggy wrote:

          but I could see how one person may have a sense of humor that another doesn't agree with. It doesn't make them a bad person or unworthy of a job.


          And also agree with this... if someone has a weird sense of humor that doesn't really makes them a bad person. And what about locked profiles? What if an employee or an applicant have their profiles locked, could someone be fired because of that? One might think that they are hiding something. 
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          this is one reason why i do not have a facebook account, best way in my opinion

          and if they asked why, i would just say because i do not like it for privacy reasons. (fullstop)

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          I would check a person's facebook profile before hiring him or her, absolutely.

          And I also think that talking badly about your employer on a social network is not acceptable. If you have something to say, say it inside the company. Still unsatisfied? Quit the job and that's that.
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          Mission146

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          • Flapjack
          I think it is very important for people to realize that Facebook is in the public Forum (unless your Page is Private) so you wouldn't want to say anything about your employer there (or post any pictures, etc.) that you would not hand directly to your employer or the person interviewing you.

          There are many counter-arguments that people will bring up concerning privacy, but I don't think they are relevant.  For starters, in the United States, there is no explicitly guaranteed right to privacy.  There are laws against voyeurism, in some jurisdictions, against eavesdropping, unlawful recording, etc., but no specific right to privacy.

          Furthermore, Facebook is not a private matter, it is a public matter.  That is the nature, scope, intent and purpose of Facebook.  E-Mails are not even private, unless the privacyis explicitly agreed to prior to the E-Mail communication, or enforced by the sender explicitly.

          The point of the matter is that the Facebook user is giving everyone free access to this information.  I know that in the State of Ohio, though, I don't technically need to give someone a reason for my refusal to hire them, and in a right-to-work jurisdiction, such as Ohio, I don't even have to have a reason to fire them...I just cannot fire them for a reason that is illegal. 

          Facebook is actually one of the LEAST invasive things that an employer can do with/without your knowledge and consent.  With your knowledge and consent, you may be subject to a drug test(s), criminal background check, having your credit pulled, anything along those lines.

          An employer who is determined, without your consent, can run your name through the database of every County you have ever lived in to determine everything down to traffic tickets.  He can't tell you he did that, but it is easy enough for him to do, again, if he is so inclined...it's public record.  An employer, in the U.S., cannot ask you if you are married, but he can go to the County (or Counties) you live in/have lived in and run your name through that database to see if there is a marriage license.  He can find out if you have been divorced.

          Trust me, an individual puts his/her own pictures/posts on Facebook, so looking through the things that you, yourself, have essentially provided in the public Forum, and effectively, to the employer, is not even remotely close to the most invasive things an employer can do.

          I wouldn't hire anyone that talked fecal matter on a previous employer directly to me, so why would I hire someone who does so on Facebook?  If they'll disparage an organization (even if the statements are true) in the public venue when that organization signs/signed their paychecks, then what would make me believe they'll not disparage my company?

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