Now that the judicial system has upheld the rights of employers to search your social media involvement as part of screening process for new hires, some folks have been freaking out.
My only questions is: why?
Are people still so ignorant as to post photos of themselves in compromising positions online? How many stories do we need to see reminding us how dangerous it is to post photos of yourself online you don’t want anyone to see before we learn our lesson?
My opinion is, if you are afraid of what your future employer might find out about you from your social media network, you have bigger problems than finding a new job. you clearly have issues of maturity and sophistication and maybe you wouldn’t be such a great new hire after all.
There is no reason you shouldn’t treat your social media presence as you would your home. Do you have a couch in your front yard? Are your Christmas lights up all year long? Do you regularly host loud, drunken parties until all hours of the night without concern for your neighbors? These are all the same as posting photos of yourself online being drunk and disorderly.
Year-old Social Intelligence Corp. is a new addition to the $3 billion background screening industry. It mines the social media Web rather than criminal and credit records for negative material about job applicants. In June the Federal Trade Commission dropped an investigation into the Santa Barbara, Calif. company, determining it complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and is free to scour publicly available material. Is this a useful tool for employers or ripe for mischief?
@KASHMIR HILL FORBES
Your digital presence is now a postscript to your résumé. If Social Intelligence makes you feel creeped out, think about the fact that most employers are already checking out Facebook pages and Google footprints before making hiring decisions. Social Intelligence claims these employers may be vulnerable to discrimination claims if they come across info about an applicant’s race, religion, sexual orientation, health condition or familial status while trolling Facebook. Social Intelligence will not reveal such information to its clients. But its techniques–finding pseudonymous accounts based on links to known e-mail addresses–yield much more dirt than does a simple Google search.
FORBES looked at reports it has produced for employers, including a job applicant who had a dating site photo that featured multiple guns and a sword; another who was designated racist for joining the Facebook group, “I shouldn’t have to press 1 for English. We are in the United States. Learn the language”; and a third flagged for potential drug use, based on membership in a pro-marijuana-legislation campaign. This could actually be beneficial for job searchers with social media stains. Because of the FCRA, Social Intelligence has to make sure its clients inform job applicants if they took adverse action based on something found on the Internet. Applicants can then clean up their digital trail, deleting the photo that makes a person come across as a potential workplace shooter and unjoining a Facebook group that indicates a distaste for diversity.
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