Looking For A Job? Want To Keep Your Job? Clean Up Your Facebook Activity
Want an incentive to refrain from posting that bellybutton tequila shot picture from Vegas on Facebook? How about the fact that nearly half of company execs think that they should be monitoring your social media profiles before even considering you for a job.
In recent years, filterless social media users on the job hunt have learned the hard way that it’s not just your ex girlfriends, boyfriends, and parents who disapprove of some of your activities. Employers have discovered that sometimes the best way to learn about their prospective employees involves a quick glance at a Facebook profile. There, they can find telling information that would probably be left out of an application or hidden during an interview. If a company is looking for a reliable employee to represent them in business, the 24/7 partier with the shockingly graphic social media account is probably going to the “no” pile.
Today’s warning against racy Facebooking comes courtesy of LiveCareer.com, who conducted a survey of over 6,600 users. They found that 46% of executives think companies should check out the ol’ online persona before making a job offer.
Out of those respondents, 41% said they think companies reserve the right to not hire someone strictly based on their Facebook identity. 40% even said that they should be able to fire current employees if they see something they don’t like.
“Most people know that employers cannot ask questions regarding race, gender, religion, age, pregnancy, or sexual preference during job interviews,” says James Freundlich, co-CEO of LiveCareer North America. “What people may not realize is the degree to which hiring managers can glean personal information about candidates by poking around their Facebook page.”
And this kind of thing provokes some interesting questions regarding the legality of job-denial based on info pulled from social media. Could it open employers up to discrimination claims, as an employee who was either not hired or fired could claim that information learned from Facebook regarding race, religion, or sexual preference led to their termination. This tricky scenario becomes trickier when we talk about employers accessing social media accounts by demanding passwords, a practice which recently created a storm and caught the eye of Congress.
But employers are still using Facebook and other social outlets for job screening. Another recent study corroborates this – Career Builder found that 37% of hiring managers and HR people from various industries include social media accounts in their online background checks. 49% of them said that inappropriate photos were the number one red light, followed closely by evidence of drinking and drug use.
Remember, don’t be stupid. That’s pretty much all there is to do. Just know that moving forward, the Facebook check will probably become an even more integral part of the hiring process.