Posted in: Employment, Employment law, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News and Views, Recruiting
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas — but if job applicant puts it up on Facebook, it could send that person home empty-handed and unemployed instead.
For many HR pros, checking a job candidate’s credentials now routinely includes looking up that person on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
A lot of job candidates have picked up on that practice, and restrict their social media sites to privileged parties and invited visitors.
Ever wondered if you could push it just a bit more — and glean critical info from someone’s online profile?
You’re not alone.
A growing number of employers are now asking applicants for an all-access pass: their social media user name AND password.
There are people who feel that invades their privacy, and they seek employment elsewhere.
Some companies, though, have no qualms about making it a standard part of the interview process. Given the competition for good jobs these days, many applicants hand over this info with nary a peep.
What do the lawyers have to say about it?
The jury’s out on whether the process violates a person’s privacy.
It’s become an issue is states like Illinois and Maryland, where legislation’s been proposed to keep public agencies from probing into applicants’ social network activities.
There is a middle ground, though.
Some employers don’t press for passwords.
Instead, they ask the applicant to “friend” the HR director, or to log in on a company computer and allow a potential employer check for anything that wasn’t mentioned in an interview.
When there is a security risk — such as in hiring for law enforcement jobs — employers can use the information to screen out any potential problems down the road.
The ACLU has poked its nose in on a couple of these cases, but there’s been no significant legal action.
There’s one more reason to keep an eye on someone’s Internet soap box: If an employee has a complaint or problem, they need to know to bring it up with the employer — not to air their dirty laundry on a social media site.