Should I or shouldn’t I? Facebook comes to the rescue of employers – or does it? In an article included in IBTIMES.com: International Business News, the writer, Dave Smith points out that employers are now beginning to find their future employees by reviewing their Facebook accounts. How can that be? Isn’t that an invasion of privacy? Well, here we go.
Although, I haven’t heard of this being done apart from the latest media blitz on this subject, it could have been going on for years. We have warned future college students to be wary of what is on their Facebook page because some colleges may be viewing them to “weed out” potential new “controversial” students. I never heard anyone complain about that, except of course the students themselves which posses little voice in this conundrum. Now, the adults are confronted with a similar injustice and it becomes a national crime.
Still this is a growing concern. As an employer, I have never broached the subject or ventured to peer into someone’s personal life. I conduct the normal interview, group interview, and background check – both speaking with past employers and references as well as criminal background checks. I find most of the time these investigations provide adequate and thorough information about the applicant.
But still what about Facebook? Mr. Smith continues, “Millions of users willingly offer private information about their interests, strengths, abilities, and preferences to share with their friends and colleagues”. That is often true. As Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, etc. users, we think everything we put on “our private pages” is just that – private. But hasn’t most of the controversy around the latest Facebook and Google discussions been as a result of recent changes in privacy?
I am sure the courts will sort out the legal aspects of employers asking for access to Facebook pages. But regardless, lets remember that nothing online is fully “private”. Technology is racing past us, and our ability to be incognito on-line is slipping through our virtual fingers. Social Media responsibly my friends!