Even after highly publicized instances where individuals experienced problems because of sharing personal information on social media, many still continue to present themselves in a negative light online. People share complaints about jobs, unhealthy relationships and even crimes online for all to see.
Many employers are taking advantage of this easily accessible information in order to make hiring decisions. Surprisingly, even though it often works the other way, the information found online sometimes gives employers the kind of information that makes them feel safe offering jobs to worthwhile candidates.
Is It Ethical For Employers To Seek Out Personal Information
This has led many people to consider whether it is ethical for employers to seek out personal information about job candidates. While people may feel that they should have an expectation of
privacy, that expectation is not a reality in practice. The public face someone presents may be viewed by other individuals who associate a person with that company, and a company's image may be tarnished because of some kinds of posts.
There is no question that the information available on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may be valuable when assessing an individual’s fit within a certain kind of corporate background. Just like when a couple starts dating, individuals try to present themselves in the best light during the initial interview and hiring process. Even when they are trying to be honest, there are honest reasons they may give a different impression than their real personalities. They may be acting in a way they believe is expected, and they might even just be too nervous to show their true personalities. Social media is also a controlled public face, but it presents much more information for potential employers to consider.
Looking At Personal Information Can Violate Discrimination Clauses
Some employers in the past have required potential candidates to share login information so that they can get past privacy settings. However, the have courts ruled that people do not have to share that information, and there have also been implications that looking at such personal information can violate discrimination clauses. An employer would not be allowed to ask a candidate about his or her religion, age, race or other defining characteristics, and the use of social media should not be looked at as a way of getting around that. Using a third party to conduct a social media screening will provide employers with all the pertinent information while leaving out disqualifying personal characteristics. Some kinds of social media are not meant to be private, like LinkedIn. More of a professional kind of platform, individuals use LinkedIn to detail work history and skills. Present and former colleagues can give support to certain skills and interests. When there is a discrepancy between what the candidate presents on LinkedIn and the job application, there may be a problem.
Understanding the Challenges of Social Hiring
Fama is a company that understands the challenges involved in social hiring and offers employers practical solutions based on AI so talent management can be done better, more quickly and more
thoroughly. A clear policy should be present so candidates are treated the same. Personal lives can stay private while employers earn the assurance that their new employees have the kind of
personality to fit in well and do the job right.
Guest Post by: Emily Olsen