Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stupid Does

More Employers Asking for Facebook Passwords

Studies have shown that Facebook can be a useful hiring tool. Just a 5-
to 10-minute perusal of a user’s profile can net more information than a basic
personality test. It’s no wonder employers head to the site to check out
prospective hires.

It's been twenty years since I last looked for work. For my current job, besides the aptitude testing and drug screen, the company also did a background check. According to them, it was mainly to see my criminal or arrest record. It was also explained that no one thing would disqualify me from employment, but was an attempt to keep the really bad dudes out.

I wasn't worried about any of this.
Ditto present day with Facebook. There is nothing there.
I generally operate with the idea of not putting anything on Facebook that would be inappropriate for my youngest nephew to see or my mother to witness.

Still, if a potential employer asked to see my Facebook page, I would most likely be a tad peeved. But would I allow it?
Let me put it this way: When the rent is past due and the cupboards are bare, who would say "No."?
The answer to that is easy: Somebody who is stupid enough to brag the seedier sides of his (or hers, If Your Name Is Amanda) lifestyle online.

So what would you do?
Have you ever had this inquiry posed to you?
What did you do about it?

8 comments:

Bike Bubba said...

My take is that this has a lot to do with boundaries--a company that demands (let's not pretend this is a "request") one's Facebook password (not just the account name here!) really doesn't understand boundaries, and thus really should be seen as one for whom one should not work. More or less, it becomes a quiet, legally semi-defensible way of discriminating against just about anyone.

That said, I don't have a Facebook account, so no worries on my part, but this is one of those places where companies need to hear "you need to honor some personal boundaries. If I can't trust you not to meddle in my private life, how can I trust you as my employer?"

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I don't like it one bit. But clearly it would be a boon for employers. It's like being a fly on the wall for your potential employee's unguarded moments.

my name is Amanda said...

Ha, at first I thought you were saying that I like to brag about the seedier sides of my life, online. Then I realized you were being gender inclusive! Although there's nothing wrong with "their." :D

Diaries and personal email might be a better way to assess a person than personality tests, too, but companies never asked to see that before Facebook. It's wrong to require something like that, everything that Bike Bubba said, etc. Boundaries are not just about privacy - they are also to protect potential employees from people who would be less than honorable about their reasons for not hiring [any certain kind person]. That said, I can see people who are desperate for a job begrudgingly going along with it. So hopefully this get stamped out soon.

Gino said...

Amanda! glad to see you are spending your honeymoon with me.

yes, i was being gender inclusive and playful at the same time.

and no, you post nothing 'seedy' on facebook. seems only my 20-something cousins like to do that.
i'm always reminding them: hey, yer 10yr sister and your parents are reading this...

Bike Bubba said...

Facebook has just banned this practice, thankfully. I'm sure someone will find a workaround, but in my (currently unemployed) book, it's still "Exhibit A" to prospective employees telling them "unless your cupboard is completely bare, run away from this employer!"

Bike Bubba said...

And I hope that Amanda did not have a heart attack after she and I agreed on something for the second time in less than a week! :^)

Foxfier said...

Bike Bubba-
pretty sure they've always had a policy about not sharing account passwords, haven't they? I seem to remember it when I signed up....

Trying to require someone to break a binding agreement, which EULAs and TOSs are, would seem to be both unethical and just asking for a lawsuit....

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Well, apparently Facebook doesn't like this hot new trend: http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/facebook-says-it-may-sue-employers-who-demand-job-applicants-passwords.ars