Yup, Big Brother is looming his ugly old head in the world of the job search. According to this article, some employers are asking for your Facebook user name and password during the interview process. Some employers are insisting job applicants sign in to their Facebook account during the interview or to friend someone at the company.
I understand the need to hire the perfect employee. I understand the need to vet someone more thoroughly for the filing clerk position than for vice president of our country. But blatantly making Facebook passwords part of the hiring process is going over the edge.
I have hired people. I understand the process is painful and tedious. Sometimes choosing the right candidate comes down to intuition or a coin toss. Sometimes it’s a much easier process deciding if a candidate is completely wrong (e.g., the interviewee who came in reeking of alcohol with phone numbers written on the back of her hand).
As a library board member, part of the vetting process for a new director was a credit report. Honestly, I never felt so dirty as I did when looking over the candidate’s financial history. Not only was her financial information included, but her husband’s was too! I swear, it was worse than catching her and her husband having sex.
Yes, the internet has done things to society that no one could have ever predicted. Who knew every kid would have a cell phone with a camera during college? Who knew middle aged women would take on Twitter? But does that mean employers have a right to know about things that are happening outside of the office?
I say they don’t. I think employers have to play the guessing game that has been a part of hiring someone since the dawn of time. It’s a crap shoot. Will the person you choose for the job actually work out? You have to wait and see. There is no Magic 8 ball.
Contrary to the path of our country of late, there still is a thing called Freedom of Speech. Maybe the responsibility of keeping negative comments off of social networking sites lies with the employer. Don’t be a douche employer and things won’t get posted. On the flip side, don’t be a douche employee and take work time conflict to the interwebs.
I think the employers are taking advantage of today’s job market. With more potential employees out there than jobs, they have job seekers by the…well, you know. Still, needing to see Facebook accounts is going just to far.
What do you think? Is this a viable tool for people with jobs to fill? How would you feel about handing over your passwords?