Social Media and Human Resources
Posted on April 4, 2012 by Gail Danneman
Facebook has received a lot of attention in light of the hiring trend. Some organizations are asking for employee login information so that they can look at a candidate’s Facebook profile, messages, and pictures. Some candidates have withdrawn from the hiring process because they do not feel it is okay for a potential employer to snoop around and look at their personal lives. What does this mean for the hiring process?
It makes sense that hiring managers want to get to know candidates before offering him or her a job, but at what point is privacy invaded? This is a topic that I believe we will continue to see as social media becomes an integral part of our everyday lives. Organizations want to be sure that a candidate’s image is in line with the image the organization wants to portray.
A grade school aide in Michigan was fired recently because she failed to give administrators her Facebook password. It was believed that the employee posted a picture making fun of her coworkers and the school wanted to investigate the situation. Because the teacher refused to give her password, she was fired.
Cases such as this are not uncommon right now and they may escalate. The question to consider is: At what point is privacy of job candidates crossed? Laws and policies are likely to change as a result of recent headlines involving social media sites. Organizations should use caution before invading the privacy of a candidate or current employee. Just because there are not current laws in place for protecting privacy does not mean that it is okay.
Recruiters especially utilize social media sites to find good candidates.
Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular sites used for recruiting purposes. I know plenty of friends that have either deactivated their accounts or changed their names on Facebook job searches because they don’t want to mess with recruiters misinterpreting their profile pages.
What do you think about the future of social media and the implications for hiring decisions? Should organizations be allowed to have access to your accounts?