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One In Five Employers Scan Applicants' Web Lives

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the other-four-are-lying dept.

Social Networks 566

Ned Nederlander writes "CareerBuilder's new survey finds: 'Of those hiring managers who have screened job candidates via social networking profiles, one-third (34 percent) reported they found content that caused them to dismiss the candidate from consideration.' Some red flags: content about applicant using drugs or drinking, inappropriate photos and bad-mouthing former bosses."

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and... (5, Funny)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968347)

Posting to /.

Re:and... (4, Insightful)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968779)

I expect if someone actually posted online using their real name, they should expect someone to find those postings and use them against the poster.

I'm constantly surprised that so many people post stupid shit about themselves using their full real name.

Also, just for fun, I googled my real name (which is not especially common) and I found three other prople who share the same name in the top 5 hits. The real me appeared once in the top 10 (I was interviewed by a newspaper as part of a charity event several years ago)

Only 20%?? (5, Interesting)

francisstp (1137345) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968353)

Why does every manager not screen all applicants? Takes 5 minutes.

Re:Only 20%?? (1)

Nanidin (729400) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968417)

Solution for facebook: Just make it so no one can see your stuff unless they're your friend. That should frustrate most HR people enough to not dig any further.

Re:Only 20%?? (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968517)

Solution for facebook: Just don't.

Re:Only 20%?? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968845)

That's easy to say when your family is just a shout upstairs away.

Re:Only 20%?? (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968629)

Except when your friends with unlocked profiles post pictures with you tagged in them.

Re:Only 20%?? (4, Informative)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968721)

Except when your friends with unlocked profiles post pictures with you tagged in them.

There are privacy settings that allow you to block others from seeing pictures you are tagged in from your profile. You can also block people from seeing your friends list and wall.

Facebook has pretty good privacy settings.

Re:Only 20%?? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968823)

Really? Excellent, time to visit facebook... :)

Re:Only 20%?? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968831)

You can untag yourself as well.

You're not thinking (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968593)

Any manager who scans the supposed web life of an applicant is a complete idiot if they can't verify that what they are looking at is authenticated to the applicant.

Let me put it simply. Send me your real name and address. I'll guarantee that I'll trash any job potential you have with one of these hiring managers.

Which might actually be a good thing, since any such manager has probably also populated the place with fellow idiots.

I've been a victim myself of a web smear campaign, and I can tell you that it's no fun. Plus it will stay around forever, depending on how it's done.

Re:You're not thinking (1)

francisstp (1137345) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968659)

Why can't you explain this fact on job applications, or as an appendix to your resume? If they take the time to check you online you're important enough so they'll read this warning.

Re:You're not thinking (4, Funny)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968801)

Oh I don't know... "Yeah... ummm that picture that was tagged of me on facebook while "I" was supposedly snorting cocaine while setting fire to a kennel full of puppies... ummm that was definitely a smear campaign!" It just sort of has that ring of unbelievability to it.

Re:You're not thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968841)

Why should you have to? Just go ahead and add "I've been the victim of an Internet smear campaign". Yes, that will make your Resume stand out. It raises a lot more questions than it answers.

Are people really so dumb as to believe that everything they see on the Internet is true? Perhaps that's a silly question.

You're also assuming a lot. It assumes that they'll read it. It assumes that they'll remember it. It assumes you know every place on the web that is covered.

I've got a better idea. Let's start a massive smear effort at everyone else. Including the hiring managers. Maybe then people might try using critical thinking. Or is that no longer taught anymore?

Re:You're not thinking (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968863)

If they take the time to check you online you're important enough so they'll read this warning.

How would you react to what basically amounts to a "If you hear anything bad about me, it's all lies. Lies, I tell you!" clause? I would certainly think twice about hiring a contractor that opens up with a warning about stuff I might find on him if I research him, or dating a girl who introduces herself as for-real-not-the-same-girl-that's-in-2-girls-1-cup.

Re:You're not thinking (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968875)

But the warning applies to everybody, and the manager should know this. So why should I make a special effort to point out an obvious fact that applies to every single person?

Re:Only 20%?? (3, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968689)

Your resume likely gets 20 to 30 seconds of eyeball time when a manager or recruiter is scanning through a pile of resumes looking for potential interview candidates. At some point down the line, when the field is down to 5 people or so, it might make sense to screen an individual applicant's web pages.

They didn't mention which sites the hiring managers use. MySpace & Facebook are probably where you'll find lots of recent HS/college grads, but what about older professionals who aren't as likely to use those sites? I hear that a significant number of recruiters actually use linkedin.com as a recruiting tool.

Re:Only 20%?? (1)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968755)

Because most HR people are old, and trained in old ways. Plus many companies have most social networking sites blocked completely, so they couldn't if they wanted to.

Unless they wanted to go home and do it.

Re:Only 20%?? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968761)

For one reason, how will the interviewer know its me?

It's not like i plaster my posting handle on the resume,

Re:Only 20%?? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968901)

Here's one. How about time sensitivity? I know someone who has a picture of one her friends with a hit of acid on her tongue. The picture is YEARS (more than five, if you're inclined to ask) old and in no way representative of who she is now. Funny thing though, most folks have no idea what that picture is of.

Silly people (5, Insightful)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968367)

What would you expect if you admitted you're a drunken dope user on Facebook? An award for honesty?

And the logic of posting photos of yourself in compromising situations online: There is none.

Re:Silly people (3, Insightful)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968447)

Problem is, all it takes is for one of your friends to post something.....

Re:Silly people (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968607)

I find your concept of friend slightly worrying.

Re:Silly people (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968733)

Of course, you could simply not get so wasted they can take those pictures. You could choose not to smoke illegal substances.

You know, act like the responsible person that you want to be seen as.

You could choose your friends better. I'm not sure how much I'd think of "friends" who post pictures of others out of control on public web pages just to humiliate them.

You could always not use Facebook, as others have pointed out.

I agree with some of the others, like the GPP (Haoie). If you post it on the public internet, don't get mad when the public reads it and judges you based on it.

Re:Silly people (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968805)

For starters you can tell a lot about people by the company they keep.

secondly as for photos if you're friend posts pictures of you doing things you don't want you future employer seeing then don't do those things or at the very least, don't do them around people who have cameras.

This isn't rocket science.

Re:Silly people (4, Insightful)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968469)

Yes there is logic.

People are dumbassess. And they think it is cool to show their friends what a dumbass they are.

Hence which is why I will NEVER sign up for myspace or facebook. Unlike most of today's generation, I do not feel the need to post my entire life up on the web. If I need to send pictures to friends, I email them.

Putting you life out on the web will come to haunt you. The only time that it does not is if you are a ' clean cut white bread never swears drinks smokes' type of person. And really that just makes you boring as hell :D

Re:Silly people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968695)

Ditto -- I have a Facebook account, but only for private messaging. No photos, no "wall posting," none of that crap. The people I message via Facebook use MSN Mail and GMail and the like, so it's not like Facebook is any worse security-wise.

Re:Silly people (2, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968827)

Putting you life out on the web will come to haunt you. The only time that it does not is if you are a ' clean cut white bread never swears drinks smokes' type of person. And really that just makes you boring as hell :D

Actually I'd rather have that kind of thing out there on the web. It saves me from the prospect of being employed by a company who doesn't want its workers to actually have lives.

Re:Silly people (1)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968495)

Well, I have a very common name. It would be nice to know what web pages a potential employer is looking at and give me the chance to refute any association. Honesty goes both ways.

Re:Silly people (1)

IgLou (732042) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968691)

It's not that easy, what if someone posts a picture of you that you thought no one took in a comprimising situation and then they or someone else tagged you? Regardless of your interactions online you have a right to those actions being private especially since if taken out of context?

Would it be fair for me to pass a judgment on you based on this post? After all you assume, that someone posts pictures of them self and that is not necessarily correct. So I should assume you don't think through a scenario. It sounds harsh.

How about your personal biases and opinions? In an interview you can effectively screen a person's ability to make a prejudicial judgment by not stating things like age, religion or sexual preference. But when someone "looks you up" the remove your ability to protect yourself from those prejudices.

Oh and final thing, appearances can be decieving. A photo that appears to be of a compromising situation may not be a photo of a comprimising situation.

Extra! Extra! (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968377)

Study Shows That Information Posted Online Gets Read By Other People!!

Full story, page 6.

Re:Extra! Extra! (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968461)

Full story, page 6.

Crap. We need more comments, people! I'm still showing only one page here.

Interview process improvement (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968381)

Employees'(or prospective employees') personal lives should be strictly off limits unless the employee voluntarily discloses the information as per professional interview guidelines(such as listing interests on a resume' or answering an interviewer's questions).

Ideally, the prospective employee should be warned in print and verify with a signature, as is done with credit and other background checks, that their name will be googled as part of the application process

Done right, it could be a positive thing -- the employee could be asked,"Is there anything online that you don't want me to see?" and a decision to hire(or not) would be based on the level of the interviewee's honesty, not that photo of them smoking a marihuana cigarette 10 years ago at a frat party.

Many places allow you the opportunity to explain prior convictions, so why shouldn't you be allowed to explain the psycho ex who photoshopped your face onto the goatse guy, then gamed Google so that "your" cavernous butthole is the first entry under your name?

Re:Interview process improvement (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968433)

You are using the wrong word.
Your private life should be off limits.
What you do in public is public. Having people judge you by how you act in public is they way that the world works.
But guess what poor judgment will effect your life.

Re:Interview process improvement (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968711)

Yes, but my side career as a stripper should not affect how well I code as a programmer. Therefor should not be considered a bad mark on my application.

Re:Interview process improvement (5, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968819)

>What you do in public is public.

Yes. And why would you bother doing anything for an employer who is petty enough to hold your web presence against you?

At my jobs, the people I've worked for have been into me for who I am.

Somebody checks my facebook page or whatever, it's what it's there for. Somebody has a *problem* with what they find there, they can kiss my ass, and I'd be man enough to say it point blanc even to a boss or prospective boss.

And speaking as a boss, I might do something like this just to test you to see if you have enough integrity to stand up for yourself. If you have a lot of counterculture / political stuff on your shirt sleeve, and you try to pretend to be someone else, I have NO respect for that.

Re:Interview process improvement (4, Interesting)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968453)

Employees'(or prospective employees') personal lives should be strictly off limits unless the employee voluntarily discloses the information as per professional interview guidelines(such as listing interests on a resume' or answering an interviewer's questions).

Why? The information's both public and readily available. If someone's application for employment is dismissed because they appear to be a drunken stoner that enjoys whining about former employers then...why should the prospective employer not be aware of it?

If it was something that they obtained through the use of private detectives, or contacting previous employers then, maybe, fair enough the applicant should be warned. But if they're stupid enough to post any form of incriminating material online what makes you think they'd heed the warning in the first place?

Re:Interview process improvement (3, Interesting)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968889)

If someone's application for employment is dismissed because they appear to be a drunken stoner that enjoys whining about former employers then...why should the prospective employer not be aware of it?

What if it's something a little less stereotypical? Say you're a political activist of some stripe. If you are publicly active in the pro-X movement, do you want to be dismissed for a job consideration because the guy checking your resume is anti-X?

I agree that anyone who posts truly embarrassing information online is an idiot. However, the idea that one must balance their freedom to express themselves under their own name against the possibility of offending a prospective employer is chilling and repugnant, IMHO. Not that the Web created that dynamic, but it certainly makes it a bit more pervasive.

Re:Interview process improvement (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968523)

Actually it's not exactly legal in quite a few US states, (Illinois for example) it can be grounds for discrimination suits. I know of plenty of employers who have been sued for that. Warned in print is not an exception.

However, most people are smart enough to hide their facebook/etc. As a safe bet people should just google themselves.

Re:Interview process improvement (2, Informative)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968869)

>However, most people are smart enough to hide their facebook/etc.

If you are the kind of person I need to "hide my profile" from, the LAST thing you are going to get from me is my time investment and my skilled labor. Life is too short, and I'm too good for you.

Re:Interview process improvement (1)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968675)

While a nice ideal, that is a pretty unrealistic expectation. The problem here is with people making public information that they do not want to be public. Whoes fault is that but the poster.

"that photo of them smoking a mari[j]uana cigarette 10 years ago at a frat party."

Should never have been posted online, much less associated with a REAL name. There's a reason people create handles for themselves. As for other people posting your picture online on your behalf, that is a problem and sites should provide a DMCA-esqe takedown procedure for any social networking images. Personally, I just explain to people why they must never post a picture of me on facebook and they seem to understand and respect my wishes. The psycho goatse loving ex scenario has not come up in my life as of yet. Personally, I try and treat people with respect so I've been lucky so far.

Re:Interview process improvement (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968781)

As for other people posting your picture online on your behalf

That's the problem! Photoshop, social networking, Google, and just one asshole with too much free time on their hands could work their magic and you'd never know before its too late!

I try and treat people with respect so I've been lucky so far.

The operative word being "lucky". Also, see above.

Re:Interview process improvement (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968685)

What if there's some guy who has the same name as you?

I could see how that would complicate things quite easily.

The "ethical" thing to do would be at the very least to allow the perspective employee to defend themselves, or at least know why they were turned down.

Re:Interview process improvement (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968713)

Done right, it could be a positive thing -- the employee could be asked,"Is there anything online that you don't want me to see?" and a decision to hire(or not) would be based on the level of the interviewee's honesty

Great, so when the perspective employee says, "No, don't look online under my name," they'll be pretty much dismissed on the idea that they're hiding things. No problem there.

How about people just stop posting pictures of themselves and their friends smoking pot on the internet? It's really retarded. Putting your "private life" on MySpace and expecting it to stay private is like running an ad in the newpaper about your "private life" and then getting upset when people know about it.

Actions have consequences. If doing something is going to cause you trouble, consider not doing it. If you're going to do it anyway, consider not posting the evidence on a publicly-accessible worldwide network.

Re:Interview process improvement (1)

gznork26 (1195943) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968747)

"Ideally, the prospective employee should be warned in print and verify with a signature, as is done with credit and other background checks, that their name will be googled as part of the application process."

Googling someone's name doesn't limit the results to those about the particular "john smith" who has applied for the job. Doing it without asking the question suggested by the parent post can be trouble. I speak from personal experience, because if you google my street name, you'll read about a terror suspect. If you were the hiring manager, would you look further, or save yourself the trouble?

P. Orin Zack
---
I write pointed political and business short stories at http://klurgsheld.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]
If you like what you read, spread the word

Re:Interview process improvement (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968809)

... personal lives should be strictly off limits unless the employee voluntarily discloses the information...

Now I'm leaving out a bit of your quote, but let's be reasonable here. Once you post pictures of yourself doing something on the public internet, that picture isn't private any more.

Posting that picture is voluntarily disclosing the information.

To say otherwise is just that "I want to be able to do whatever I want and not be judged by it" nonsense that no one above the age of ~5 should reasonably believe.

If it's on a personal website in a password protected area that you didn't give the interviewer/manager access to that's one thing. But when you put the picture on MySpace or Facebook for everyone to see, it's fair game.

Re:Interview process improvement (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968813)

Employees'(or prospective employees') personal lives should be strictly off limits unless the employee voluntarily discloses the information as per professional interview guidelines(such as listing interests on a resume' or answering an interviewer's questions).

Welcome to real life. Particularly with onerous labor laws in a lot of states that make it damn near impossible to fire someone, employers need every resource available to them to separate the losers from potential employees. Thing is, people who are losers in their free time tend to be losers on the job, which gives your employer a vested interest in finding out.

Which is why it's a good idea for you to *not* have photographic evidence of you doing stupid stuff. Nobody will decline to hire you because they see a glass of beer in your hand. But if somebody pulls out a camera when you're doing more substantially illegal things, punch them. And don't hang out with the sort of dipshits that post pictures online of themselves and their friends acting like idiots.

Re:Interview process improvement (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968923)

A standard part of my personal interviewing process is this question:

"If I googled your name, what impression about you would I get, and what would I likely find?"

I don't as a habit Google them - although I have on occasion. However, I'm normally interviewing people for marketing roles, and their public presence (which today is largely online) is a very relevant indicator about how active they are in the market/community. For an internally-focused employee, the question and any findings online would be far less relevant or acceptable.

MadCow.

So wait... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968385)

The sky is blue.
Water is wet.
Grass is green.

...and now you tell me that acting like an ass-hat then posting it online, will affect your real life?

I am just SHOCKED!

What About the Good Things? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968395)

This summary leaves out the entire second half of the article:

On the other hand, social networking profiles gave some job seekers an edge over the competition. Twenty-four percent of hiring managers who researched job candidates via social networking sites said they found content that helped to solidify their decision to hire the candidate. Top factors that influenced their hiring decision included:

  • 48% - candidate's background supported their qualifications for the job
  • 43% - candidate had great communication skills
  • 40% - candidate was a good fit for the company's culture
  • 36% - candidate's site conveyed a professional image
  • 31% - candidate had great references posted about them by others
  • 30% - candidate showed a wide range of interests
  • 29% - candidate received awards and accolades
  • 24% - candidate's profile was creative

Some of the numbers on this article have to be wrong ... 22% shared sensitive information from their prior employer ... ?! What could that be?

Re:What About the Good Things? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968477)

Exactly.

Everyone i know puts down their linkedin profile on their resume... its a good way for an employer to get a quick reference (since most people's linkedin references are public). its on my resume, its personal information on a professional networking site. Go ahead and check it out.

Now, as far as putting a link to your facebook or myspace profile on your resume... not so sure about that.

Re:What About the Good Things? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968485)

Exactly. If people Google my name my photography website comes up and that is a GOOD thing.

Re:What About the Good Things? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968487)

22% shared sensitive information from their prior employer ... ?!

sorry, meant to say 19%

Re:What About the Good Things? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968697)

Some of the numbers on this article have to be wrong ... 22% shared sensitive information from their prior employer ... ?!

That's a type of statistic that's confusing, if not outright deceptive: those are the percentages of managers who have used that sort of information not the percentages of candidates who provide them.

Re:What About the Good Things? AND SABOTAGE!!! (4, Funny)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968787)

So...

Step 1: Keep a professional "personal" site up where you praise your prior employers and you extol the virtues of work and your pride in your accomplishments at your job.
Step 2: (Optional) Keep a separate social site for your friends (which doesn't explicitly list you by name), also set to private.
Step 3: Get the names of the other applicants and set them up facebook accounts where they list their exploits stealing office supplies, being lazy/napping on the job, and taking pot breaks/drinking at work. Extra Credit for including the phrase "Man, I was so WASTED at work the other day!" anywhere in their profile.
Step 4: ???*
Step 5: Hired!

* Depending on state, Step 4 may be "Get sued for libel" (Do not go to step 5, do not collect a monthly paycheck).

Re:What About the Good Things? (1)

gvaness (1360119) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968913)

The % was only of those employers who used the informations. And that data could be anything as innocent as what your salary is/was.

You mean you use your real ID? (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968409)

You don't think this is my real name do you?

No, this is the name of my mortal enemy.

 

Re:You mean you use your real ID? (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968571)

You don't think this is my real name do you?

No, this is the name of my mortal enemy

Fscker! Don't think can't I find out your REAL name!

-- Colin Smith

Or you're an idiot (1)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968419)

If you're job searching and you're not smart enough to consider your online profile an extension of your resume, you're not that bright.

Of course they don't want to hire you then.

Re:Or you're an idiot (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968633)

Of course they don't want to hire you then.

Huh. Given some people I've met in my professional career, I'd swear the complete opposite was true! ;)

Re:Or you're an idiot (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968811)

The problem is : will I be able to convince a (presumably averagely pointy-haired) interviewer that my surname-name is a common combination in my native region ? Otherwise he'll think I have been held hostage by Algerian djihadists when I was a journalist, that I played soccer a lot, played guitar a bit, that I was stabbed while fighting a policeman and that I study the influence of lasers on super-heated plasmas.

All of these can be found by googling the name I put on my CV. Is that fair that I am held responsible for all that ? There are also pictures of me drunk on the net, put there by retarded "friends" who are into facebook/mysapce. Fortunately, they didn't write my full name next to it. How is it possible for me to prevent it ? I try to say that I find pictures at parties off-limit but many persons (you know, the "social" type) don't understand what could possibly go wrong. Sigh...

The full-honesty strategy should be the ideal, unfortunately you sometime have to get past the asshole-recruiter in order to get into an interesting company. Really, the practice of googling interviewees is a bad practice that will not carry useful informations most of the time and will bear a very low signal/noise ratio. Recruiters : don't do that.

Think of it from the employer's POV (1, Troll)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968425)

Would you want to hire someone dumb enough to admit being an idiot on Facebook? For that matter, would you want to hire anyone dumb enough to BE on Facebook in the first place?

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (1)

veeoh (444683) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968493)

nothing wrong with FB per se - we use it to keep in touch and organise nights out...

Most people I know - and work with - are on it and, well, we are pretty normal I figure... ymmv

M

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (2, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968561)

I wouldn't want to employ someone who wasn't on at least one social networking site. It's about the only real proof you can have that someone isn't the sort of person who has nothing in their life besides work. I don't want that sort of person on my team. They're horrible to work with. I want people who socialise - not necessarily with me - but with someone.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (2, Interesting)

veeoh (444683) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968581)

yup - although I have rejected because of odd FB profiles, about 80% of our candidates from the last trawl we did were on FB and were perfectly normal..

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (3, Insightful)

hiryuu (125210) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968739)

I wouldn't want to employ someone who wasn't on at least one social networking site. It's about the only real proof you can have that someone isn't the sort of person who has nothing in their life besides work.

There are two minor flaws that I can see with this application of that line of reasoning. One is that there are plenty of socially active people who don't bother with social networking sites, and plenty of avenues to be social that have no reflection in those sites. The second is that a Facebook or Myspace page isn't "proof," in that it wouldn't take much to make a fake page that passes at least cursory inspection.

That said, I can't disagree with your sentiment about wanting social people in general as part of your team.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968771)

Fair point, but why does one have to do that on a social networking site? I've never joined one, probably never will...I don't see how that in any way indicates anything about my social life.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (3, Informative)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968773)

That's a pretty narrow view, considering there are other, more time-tested ways to socialize.

I suppose it depends on the position you're hiring for. I usually tend to frown on developers who don't have a web presence in the form of a blog with technical content and what not. Comments on technical forums or even USENET posts are always good. However, the lack of that presence does not necessarily translate into immediate dismissal, there are many other factors, obviously like the ability to ace a technical interview. But being recognized in your field by your peers is always a *huge* plus.

I really could care less (and again, that's just my opinion and the type of people I hire) if you have a facebook page or not.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968815)

I wouldn't want to employ someone who wasn't on at least one social networking site.

In other words you won't employ someone unless...

a) They're likely to be under 30.
b) Don't care about personal privacy.
c) Don't care about others' privacy.
d) Have a camera.
e) Socialize in larger groups instead of smaller get-togethers.
f) Use that camera at private events.

That's an interesting way to narrow the field.

Also probably a good way to get sued.

(Captcha: slaver)

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968857)

Strange, I always thought that people who spend their time posting on internet message boards are the ones least likely to have a social life.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968865)

I wouldn't want to employ someone who wasn't on at least one social networking site. It's about the only real proof you can have that someone isn't the sort of person who has nothing in their life besides work. I don't want that sort of person on my team. They're horrible to work with. I want people who socialise - not necessarily with me - but with someone.

Believe it or not millions of people manage to socialize without ever signing up at a social networking site. That being said you are right, there is more to life than work and workaholics can be annoying.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (2, Insightful)

zookie (136959) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968921)

"Interesting" is the right moderation here... As in "Interesting that someone would be so close-minded as to require prospective employees to be on a social networking site." I realize this is Slashdot, but if you'd step away from your computer for a little bit, you'd realize there are plenty of ways to socialize without being on a social network. Such as, I dunno, hanging out with your friends, belonging to your local church, volunteering with civic organizations, participating in a local sports league, etc. In fact those in-person activities are a better indication of someone's ability to get along with co-workers than being on Facebook.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (1)

rk (6314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968927)

Maybe I socialize with people in real-life? I think this is the first time in my life it's been implied that I'm anti-social for NOT using a computer for something. :-)

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968945)

I guess you would never hire anybody over the age of, oh, say 40 then. A lot of us DO have social lives, even spouses and children, and have neither the time nor desire to muck about on some dopey social networking site.

Re:Think of it from the employer's POV (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968929)

>For that matter, would you want to hire anyone dumb enough to BE on Facebook in the first place?

If you're a government employer, I smell "chilling effect" and "abridgement of first amendment protected activity."

Potentially much more lucrative than any "job"...

yeh... (1)

veeoh (444683) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968449)

been there, done that.

Rejected two the other day for outrageous facebook pics.

You can tell instantly if they will fit in with the rest of the team.

A drunk chav and a fat scoutmaster who "was exhausted from having 60 scouts last night" would have been eaten alive in our tech support... :)

M

Re:yeh... (4, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968575)

Anyone who can handle being stuck in the woods with 60 kids should be able to handle irate customers pretty easily.

Re:yeh... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968663)

A drunk chav and a fat scoutmaster who "was exhausted from having 60 scouts last night" would have been eaten alive in our tech support... :)

M

Are you sure about that? It definitely takes some stamina to do 60 scouts in a single night...

We've done this... (1)

hiryuu (125210) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968535)

...though I haven't been privy to what was found, I have been part of several interview processes where we didn't extend an offer, and the reason given was "we found something on their [social networking site/personal site/online postings] that was bad." I have to assume that it was nothing more than typical college-kid party stuff, particularly given how conservative people around most corporate environments can be.

This is more HR BS that we don't need (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968541)

Like

*candidate's screen name was unprofessional
so what what gives you the right to look in to non work web posts will do the same looking in to my life out side of work when I am on the job?

*communication skills on web forums, chat rooms, person web sites and so on.
is not the same as in office communication skills

site conveyed a professional image vs unprofessional.
But you should not trun people down based on a site that WAS NOT MEANT to be a professional one.

qualifications is a other thing where 2 WAY bloating happens a lot. HR ports jobs with a ton of qualifications that some are not even used / have stuff like 5 years with software that came out 2 years ago.

And people have to pad there profiles just to get in and past HR.

Sometimes there's no need to go beyond the resume (2, Funny)

RayMarron (657336) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968707)

I'm sorry Mr. Dragon, the numerous grammatical and spelling errors in your previous post have dissuaded us from extending an offer of employment at this time. We felt there was no need to look into your social networking persona after reading that.

So long as they don't Monica Goodling you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968877)

As long as they aren't using searches to discriminate on the basis of your political views [danieldrezner.com] your public activity is mostly fair game.

Monica Goodling's lexis/nexis candidate screening search for Department of Justice career candidates [probably going to be munged by slashdot filter]:

[first name of a candidate] and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud! or investigat! or bankrupt! or layoff! or downsiz! or PNTR or NAFTA or outsourc! or indict! or enron or kerry or iraq or wmd! or arrest! or intox! or fired or sex! or racis! or intox! or slur! or arrest! or fired or controvers! or abortion! or gay! or homosexual! or gun! or firearm!

I do the same thing to my employers (4, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968557)

It helps me avoid the bad ones and possibly increase my chances with the ones I want.

One interview I casually mentioned seeing a really good performance by a local violin player. I hadn't actually gone, just read a review. I didn't mention I knew she was his daughter, either(she'd married, so different last name). I found that after googling him and finding it in the "thanks" section of her website. That got us to talking about classical music, music magnet schools, etc. After we "shared a common interest", I was a shoe-in compared to the rest of the candidates.

Fortunately, I don't work there anymore and he's since retired:) I did actually listen to some of his daughter's stuff, later, and she /is/ a good violin player.

Re:I do the same thing to my employers (2, Funny)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968803)

One interview I casually mentioned seeing a really good performance by a local violin player. I hadn't actually gone, just read a review. I didn't mention I knew she was his daughter

Nice way to game the system, and why can't this work in reverse? Time to make my facebook profile... let's see...

Currently: Helping with world hunger, developing several open source projects, researching the cure for AIDS, loved my previous coworkers and employers....What else? I want to be a shoe in for any job.

Re:I do the same thing to my employers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968843)

Umm .. You forgot to checkmark the Anonymous Coward box

Ouch (3, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968589)

The only thing I mind them finding is them finding out that I'm much more interested in software engineering when I'm applying for junior sysadmin jobs. Them knowing that is a sure way for me to never get called for an interview.

This is why... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968619)

I make sure that if somebody Googles my real name, their first hit is my resume. Everything else is garbage.

Re:This is why... (5, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968897)

I make sure that if somebody Googles my real name, their first hit is my resume. Everything else is garbage.

It must be nice to have a name that dwells in relative obscurity. For those of us named things like "John Smith", "Charles Barkley", "Ron Jeremy" and "Clown Anal" that's not quite so easy.

Good luck (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968649)

Considering my name is shared with some award winning international "star" (so to speak) of the photography world, good freagin luck finding anything about me by googling my name. You'd have better luck googling my alias, though its becoming more and more used, so that doesn't work very well either, thus ending with employers being sorry out of luck.

I'd be afraid for people who get their name bot-crawled and used in those dating or porn sites though, that could give a nasty feeling if that pops as a first hit with your picture next to it. (I've heard of it happening once or twice with even worse consequences)

Sorry but (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968677)

Its none of my employers business that I am a pagan, and I'm bi. I have to tell you I log IP's that look up my info in several places, if I found out that someone had "googled" me and then rejected me for employment I then have evidence of religious discrimination and sexual discrimination...I don't mind making a job out of sueing people...but I would rather just be a professional at work.

Re:Sorry but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968839)

Then again you might get the job just cause you're a hot bi chick. It could work in your favor. If of course you're a chick... and hot.

No wait that's my twin... (1)

saveonweb (939227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968681)

That's not me but my twin... Will I get a chance to explain the employer over this misunderstanding or can I sue "Mr.Jumping-over-the-table-and-landing-on-the-floor-drunk.."

Hello, potential employer. (5, Funny)

Korey Kaczor (1345661) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968683)

How's the googling going? I hope you like reading my slashdot posts. And if you have karma, mod my posts up, too. In addition to hiring me with a nice fat salary.

Re:Hello, potential employer. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968949)

This is my homepage by the way: http://goatse.cx/ [goatse.cx]

One problem... (1)

Setherghd (942294) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968791)

People on the internet have no lives!

Oh. Hello, Slashdot.

Screen Name Unprofessional? (2, Funny)

devotedlhasa (1298843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968807)

Oh you want to check out my profile? Sure thing, just search for smokesalottaweed. Let me know about that job. Thanks!

google my name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968873)

and the first hit is an 18 year old sk8tr guy who sells his used underpants. Wonderful

Number is really very small. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968885)

22% of hiring managers google potential employees. That is 4 out of 5 not doing it.

Out of those 22%, one-third said they have found content that caused them to dismiss someone. That is 7%.

So 7% of hiring managers have, _at some point in their working history_, found something that caused them to dismiss someone. I interpret "hiring managers" as HR people responsible for hiring - which means they should have hired quite a few people, yet only 7% have dismissed someone for online content, ever.

In sum total, this "problem" would seem very small.

Interview Sabotage? (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968887)

Know enough about a person you're going against for a job and you could probably get them blown out of the interview waters with a few entries onto a fake mySpace or FaceBook account.

Just a worry on my part. Good thing I'm a hermit!

Social media sites are not private! (1)

GPS Tracking (1347425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968911)

I just saw a show on TV about this. Employment agencies are regularly checking sites like MySpace and Facebook. You find out a lot more information about a person on social media sites than you can from a resume or former employer. Former employers are too worried about giving out information anyway.

Kids are trying to impress their friends by showing off their alcohol and drugs, and now it's coming back to haunt them.

Obviously, a person has a right to keep their personal life private, but social media sites are not private.
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