Question of the day

Should potential employers be able to examine your social networking accounts for hiring purposes?

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22 Responses to Question of the day

  1. Jason says:

    I think if you leave your account as public than by all means….. If you don’t want them knowing your business than don’t let them.

    • Joy says:

      The privacy thing also involves friends who “tag” you in shots and if they’re not private, people can see those so you do have to be careful what your friends post and tag. I know someone in Canada who didn’t get a job because someone saw “drunk” shots on someone else’s page of them.

      • Jason says:

        Yes one of my friends is a teacher, and if he sees someone taking pictures of him that he doesn’t want public, like drinking at birthday parties, then he will say to us don’t tag me in those photos

      • Jenny says:

        if you get tagged in a photo that you don’t like you can always untag yourself!!

  2. Joy says:

    I think so. They are public sites and you are going to be working for “their” company. I feel if you’re dumb enough to post things you don’t want people to see in the future, you shouldn’t be putting them out there at all. This stuff never goes away.

  3. SKL says:

    Yes, they should be able to find out whatever public information there is about you, as well as call your references and so on. Of course we would hope they have a BS filter and a sense of humor. But who wants to work for someone who lacks those, anyway?

    When you hire someone, you’re trusting them with a lot. Company property, responsibility to get a job done, and also the company’s reputation. You wouldn’t let someone live in your house without knowing a fair amount about them, would you? What’s the difference?

    I do think parents need to do a better job of educating young people about the risks of online foolishness. At my age, it seems obvious that putting something “out there” with my name or face on it is the same as handing it directly to my prospective employer. But when I was 25 years younger, I was foolish in many ways. So I don’t assume that all young people have the “common sense” to realize that their social networking might as well be CNN headline news.

  4. Laura says:

    I don’t know. I’m mixed. Of course they ARE going to check this stuff, and of course you SHOULD make sure that your privacy levels are set, and nobody should be posting stupid crap without your permission, however…

    I also don’t want to have to police my every stinking move. I’m an adult. I am allowed, morally and legally, to go to a bar and get stupid, providing I don’t hurt anybody in the process. If I go out for a night with the girls, and we get silly and someone posts pictures, why should that cost me a job? I wasn’t doing anything illegal, and I was certainly off work time. Can that hiring manager say the same thing about himself? Do they hold themselves to the same standard? Or am I going to find his FB someday, and see him hanging all over a bunch of strippers?

    Yes, people should act with a certain amount of decorum. But at the same time, people are human. They do silly and stupid things on their own time. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t completely professional, and won’t be a credit to the business.

  5. mssc54 says:

    Only if perspective employees can also view THEIR social networks! Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

    • Joy says:

      Except that the employer doesn’t need to hide anything. They’re the boss and or own the company. It almost doesn’t matter what they do. Example: Nobody could fire Paul no matter what he put on FB. Not that he would but who could?

      • mssc54 says:

        I’d like to know if my daughters are going to work for a guy who is a whoremunger. Or a flaming alchoholic.

        It’s not about the boss being fired. It’s about wheather or not the boss has the integrity to do what he says he will do in the manner in which he says he will do. (he or she)

        I’d like to know if I’m going to have to do double duty without compensation because the boss has one of the female employees in his office for an extended “performance review.”

      • Joy says:

        Sadly, you’ll probably never find that out on a social networking site.

    • Laura says:

      See, this is one of the things I was thinking, too… but you kind of CAN view a company’s “social network” by doing your homework on that company. Of course, the big ones also have massive PR departments to see to it that everything that gets out is favorable…

  6. Laura says:

    I guess I’m ok with a certain amount of snooping, but I also expect employers to exercise a bit of common sense with it. Just because Billy has his picture taken in a lot of bars doesn’t automatically mean he’s a drunk. It could mean that he’s a wicked dart player.

  7. Joy says:

    Yes, the person in Canada I know is under 18 and there were pics of him drinking. Someone else tagged him and put them up with no privacy settings so he was breaking the law.

    In Paul’s case, he’d NEVER look anywhere before hiring someone but there are a lot of things you can’t ask people anymore during an interview. I guess with all the “fairness” going on, about the only thing they’re allowed to ask if they have court ordered child support because that has to be taken out of their checks and sent to an outside person to send the guardian. There’s a lot now you aren’t allowed to ask.

  8. Jenny says:

    I say if you don’t keep your profile to private then sure anyone can look at it! It’s your own fault for not keeping things private.

  9. Phyllis says:

    I agree that keeping your privacy settings set to friends only is the thing to do. I, personally, go so far as to “remove post” from any of my friends that contain vulgarities, etc., so my other friends aren’t exposed to them. The worse offenders of vulgarities are my oldest granddaughter’s friends who I use this to keep in touch with. Unfortunately, they (even in their 20’s) haven’t learned that most educated people don’t need to use 4 letter words to express themselves.

    As for prospective employers, keep your settings private. I believe (but could be wrong) that unless we friend them, they can’t see our sites. Am I right in this?

    • Joy says:

      Yes. As long as only your friends can see your page, you’re okay BUT….let’s say you and I go out and have “one too many” and I tag you in a pic, all the people who come to my page can see it and if someone searched for you, that pics would be visible. Like Jenny said, you can untag yourself but you may not see it right away depending how often you go online.

      • Phyllis says:

        That reminds me of my daughter’s wedding reception…. her father came up to hand me a beer to hold. I looked at him like he was out of his mind and said, sorry, didn’t hold your beer when we were together, I’m not holding it now, just set it down. Turns out one of her friends, knowing I don’t drink, was waiting to snap a pic to post of her reception. I told him to get one of me talking with someone, cause that’s what I do. I don’t drink and don’t want anything posted to imply that I do.

        You’re right, his fb page is one I don’t go on, and I would’ve ended up there for all the world to see. That’s dangerous. .

    • SKL says:

      One thing that was pointed out to me was that some people are not careful enough about whom they “friend.” They will friend people they don’t really know and the employer might have someone in the office who has been friended or otherwise has some sort of connection. So not only do you need to be careful about your privacy settings, but also about whom you friend. Ultimately, it’s probably not a good idea to post stuff you wouldn’t want your mother AND your boss to see.

  10. SKL says:

    Another thing. I have this service called “xobni” that a client recommended for addressing emails faster. Well, if you have your photo up on some social networking site like Facebook, it shows up on the right side of my screen when I click on an Outlook message from you. My partners did not even know this was possible when they set up their Facebook accounts. Better make sure your main Facebook photo presents you in a way you would like to be seen in professional circles – and by your future mother-in-law / kids’ friends’ parents.

  11. Nikki says:

    If it’s public, then obviously they have all rights. I’ve untagged myself in many pictures. You have these friends who like to post old pictures of your old ways-in a bar dancing and drinking. I don’t do that anymore-nor do I want my new friends, or my young nieces seeing that. You always have to be aware of you do and what you say now days. It’s it’s on the web, it will come back to bite you.

    Do I think it’s fair for a responsible person to not get hired because they were seen with a drink in their hand? No. Life is often, unfair!

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