Post # 1
Hey Bees! This is just for fun.
I’m currently in the process of hiring people for my projects at work. I was discussing candidates with a colleague the other day who asked me if I had looked the candidates up on Facebook. Of course not! I said.
She thinks that what a candidate does in their free time is relevant – Facebook could tell you if the person would really be a good match. We work in an animal rights non-profit organisation, so a vegan would likely fit in and get along with colleagues better than a person who enjoys watching animal crush videos in their spare time.
Although I understand her example, it still feels wrong. What if you end up unconsciously favouring one person over another just because they happened to have Facebook and the other didn’t? That doesn’t seem fair. I also doubt that I would find any relevant information that couldn’t be gained in an interview.
Anyways, I wanted to get your opinions on this out of curiosity. Would you mind an employer judging your profile (theoretically, if you don’t have one)? HR Bees, have you ever done this?
I wrote “ethical” instead of “professional” because I would like to get opinions from non-HR people.
Post # 3
I expect that any employer would Google a person’s name before hiring them, and Facebook pages come up on a Google search. So, if your Facebook shows up in that search, it’s fair game.
Post # 4
I always expect employers to use whatever information is available to them. If you are stupid enough to post something harmful to your future employment possibilies on Facebook, or don’t use the privacy settings available to you, people are going to see what you post.
Post # 5
I would say, if their profile is public, it’s fair game… if the employer is going to different lengths, such as friending the potential employee or something along those lines, it’s not really fair, as they are doing it only to make judgement on that candidate.
LinkedIn, however, is totally fair game, always.
Post # 6
I do mind, I believe it is unethical and possibly illegal to judge a candidate based on such things (except animal crush videos…aren’t those illegal? They should be). Judging them on their photo(s), veganism, love of bacon, friends, relationship status, taste in music, etc. – whatever one can garner from overly lax privacy settings – that’s pretty bad. Pretty common, and pretty bad.
Just because it’s easy and frequently done, doesn’t make it ok.
Post # 7
@peachacid: +1. Managing your online identity is extremely important and if you aren’t comfortable with anyone, including employers, looking at your various profiles then you shouldn’t have them. I am a hiring manager and I do as much research on candidates as I can. It’s a lot of money to waste if it doesn’t work out.
Sorry, there is no reasonable expectation for privacy if you are putting the content on the internet.
Post # 8
Do I think it is ethical, of course not but it happens, hence why my FB is locked down to the public and nothing other than my profile picture shows for public
Post # 9
@joya_aspera: I think “fit” is the most important aspect in a new hire. You can have all the skills, but if you won’t fit into my team’s culture then I am going to end up firing you anyway. It’s a lot easier to cover all your bases before it gets to that point. Similar to how you feel about animal crush videos, I’m sure there are other issues that employers feel equally strongly about. If someone isn’t smart enough to manage their online identity, they are not smart enough to work at my company. Harsh or not, there are plenty of available candidates and one spot to fill – people need to be careful.
ETA: if you are hiring a private investigator to stalk someone, that’s completely different. Something put online is for anyone to consume and folks need to keep that in mind.
Post # 10
@arathella: I personally think it is invasive and unnecessary, as well as being a bit voyeuristic.
Post # 11
I think it’s a gray area. What if you find out that they’re pregnant, and that influences your decision? You could also possibly find out their sexual orientation, if they have a disability, or what their political affiliation is. I think it just opens the company up to discrimination charges, and can negatively impact your decision to hire a candidate.
Post # 12
It’s absolutely ethical. If you don’t want a potential employer to see it, it shouldn’t be on the Internet. End of story. And I’m very particular about what gets posted online about me.
what if your potential candidate has pictures of them out drinking every night, or posting about drug use or bashing their current job? These are just some of the things I’d want to see as I wouldn’t hire anyone who would present a negative image of the company. Also, there are other things that might indicate poor judgement or a lack of discretion, both things I wouldn’t want in a potential employee.
Post # 13
If someone puts something out on the internet for the world to see, it’s fair game!
Post # 14
I personally believe that what you choose to put online about yourself says a lot about your judgement. I work in communications, and if I were foolish enough to think it was appropriate to have drunk photos or rants about the company I work for online in a public website, then you probably wouldn’t want me representing you.
Post # 15
@arathella: I feel like facebook should be considered public property – if you don’t lock down your page then what people see is is what they see.
If you were to accidently bump into (or just notice) a potential interviewee at a bar going super crazy and being rude to her friends – would that influence your decision? Should that be held against her?
Or conversely, what if you found this person out and about and they were volunteering at a shelter, caring for orphans, or organizing a car wash?
I feel like facebook is the same thing. Public forum is public forum. If you don’t want it to be seen don’t post it or lock it down. Both abilities exist.
Personally, I would *love* a future employer to look at my facebook – I have been pretty responsible with all of my posts and even come off as a pretty clean cookie per my account. Yes, I party and hang out, I drink and cuss and like to be super loud sometimes – but the pics posted by my friends and I are tasteful – because we all agree to be mature about these things.
Post # 16
I think it can be fine to look someone up on Facebook. If you don’t want a potential employer seeing something, make it so only people you’re friends with can see it.
That being said, I don’t think you should do more than just view whatever is publically avaialble. It would be inappropriate for an employer to see that they have a mutual friend, and then ask said mutual friend for more information about what’s on the potential employee’s page.
I also think it’s inappropriate for an employer to ask for the potential employee’s log in information with the intent of accessing the employee’s account, with or without the employee present.