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Should Job Seekers Tell Employers To Quit Snooping?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the easy-for-you-to-say-you-have-a-job dept.

Privacy 681

onehitwonder writes in with a CIO opinion piece arguing that potential employees need to stand up to employers who snoop the Web for insights into their after-work activities, often disqualifying them as a result. "Employers are increasingly trolling the web for information about prospective employees that they can use in their hiring decisions. Consequently, career experts advise job seekers to not post any photos, opinions or information on blogs and social networking websites (like Slashdot) that a potential employer might find remotely off-putting. Instead of cautioning job seekers to censor their activity online, we job seekers and defenders of our civil liberties should tell employers to stop snooping and to stop judging our behavior outside of work, writes CIO.com Senior Online Editor Meridith Levinson. By basing professional hiring decisions on candidates' personal lives and beliefs, employers are effectively legislating people's behavior, and they're creating an online environment where people can't express their true beliefs, state their unvarnished opinions, be themselves, and that runs contrary to the free, communal ethos of the Web. Employers that exploit the Web to snoop into and judge people's personal lives infringe on everyone's privacy, and their actions verge on discrimination."

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No, they don't (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061349)

"... and their actions verge on discrimination."

No, legal terms have legislated meanings, ad you don't get to make them up as you go along. Googling someone to see if they're a Nazi child molester on the no-fly list is perfectly legal, and as a hiring manager, you can bet I'm going to keep doing it.

Re:No, they don't (1)

SonicEarth (1246632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061361)

Cool story, brah.

Re:No, they don't (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061559)

I said I was the hiring manager, which means that you're not allowed to speak until I tell you to speak during this interview, nigger.

I don't like your name and I don't like your lack of work history. I saw your MySpace, and I don't like the fact that you have KFC as a friend. I want applicants with low self-esteem and mortgages and families and I want to work them 80 hours a week until they're burnt out. Then I take out insurance policies on their lives and have HR delete them from the roster of life.

And in case you didn't know, as a hiring manager, I am a cocksucker. All other hiring managers and HR personnel such as myself are also cocksuckers, and making people miserable makes our dicks grow.

Re:No, they don't (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061375)

I'm not sure that doing a web search is really "snooping" either--after all, what you put on the web is information you put out there. If you didn't want people to know it, you shouldn't have put it out there for everybody in the world to see.

Now, if employers are breaking into your private disk space, that's different...

Maybe I'll post this anonymously, so it can't be used against me...

Re:No, they don't (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061785)

But what about the information other people have put out about me?

Re:No, they don't (2, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061431)

No, legal terms have legislated meanings, ad you don't get to make them up as you go along.

I don't find it difficult to deal with the use of the word 'discrimination' outside a strict legal definition (and IAAL). Moreover, the text did say "verge on discrimination. (On a side note, not all legal terms have legislated meaning, some have meaning at common law :P)

Googling someone to see if they're a Nazi child molester on the no-fly list is perfectly legal, and as a hiring manager, you can bet I'm going to keep doing it.

Or to see whether they are Christian, collect stamps as a hobby, etc etc etc.

In any case, if you are going to be so stubborn about infringing on our privacy, we are just going to have to pass legislation criminalising your behaviour, aren't we?

Re:No, they don't (5, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061489)

In any case, if you are going to be so stubborn about infringing on our privacy, we are just going to have to pass legislation criminalising your behaviour, aren't we?

But how will you know if a firm passed you over because of something you said online? It'd be impossible to enforce.

It's just best not to worry about it. Firms who discriminate against people who aren't ashamed of their life and like to talk openly about it will wind up full of drones leaving all the creative people to assemble elsewhere. I hope.

Protected classes (4, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061579)

But how will you know if a firm passed you over because of something you said online? It'd be impossible to enforce.

Unfortunately, that's not true. It seems to make sense that there is no way that one could know why an employer did something. But certain legislators don't think that way.
For a number of classes of people ( genders, ethnic groups, etc ) the mere act of not having the right number of people of a certain class can be construed as proof that there was discrimination.
So, someday, after you have posted a picture of yourself butt-naked sharing a twelve-pack with your buddies outside the local convent, and you remain unemployed, you will be able to sue. All you will have to show is that X percent of the population does such things, and if a particular employer has significantly less than X percent of such people among their employees, they are therefore guilty of discrimination.

Re:Protected classes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061817)

Naked beer drinkers are not a protected class, no matter how numerous.

Re:No, they don't (5, Interesting)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061685)

Googling someone to see if they're a Nazi child molester on the no-fly list is perfectly legal, and as a hiring manager, you can bet I'm going to keep doing it.

Just out of curiosity, is it just as legal if your google search finds the person posts on an online forum for, say, cancer patients, to use that as a pre-screen for who might be unacceptable insurance risks? I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

Unfortunately, I think it is ultimately wise to divorce your real identity from anything you do online however innocent it might be. (An exception could be made for strictly employment-related or technical stuff, but one should think really hard anytime they put real identity info online.) You never know what information could be used against you in some future situation.

Re:No, they don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061795)

a co-worker just found out that his name, birthday, and part of his address are shared with a twice-imprisoned (and bragging about it) womanizing (and bragging about it) thug (and bragging about it) who is currently wanted for rape charges (mysteriously no posts after the date of that news article). How do you defend against that?

Re:No, they don't (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061799)

Good, if you disqualify my because of an opinion I have is different to yours I didn't want to work for you anyways! Really, who wants to work for close minded yes men? Personally I've always treated interviews as being mutual and have turned down jobs due to not liking the tone of the interview. I know that's easy to say but I actually did in during what turned out to be a 7 month stint of unemployment during the last recession. I found it's much better to find a job you love then it is to jump at the first opportunity, assuming you have your finances in order.

Where does hypocrisy begin? (5, Interesting)

golodh (893453) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061865)

The parent post is an excellent example of a manager attempting to think. Methodologically speaking, web presence is of course a very poor indicator of people's performance on the job.

How so?

Well, the people posting silly stuff about themselves tend to do so while thinking of a certain context and/or being in a particular state of mind (at home, relaxed, with friends, feeling in the mood for some snarkiness). So ... more often than not, context is half the message (if not more). But all and any context is lost in transmission via the Internet, thus loosing about half the message.

Suppose on the other hand that someone *really* has something to hide. They would take exceptionally good care not to leave tracks that are easily available for a hiring manager with some time on his hands and itchy keyboard fingers. They would even change their name if necessary.

Therefore Internet presence is likely to give false positives while false negatives are all but guaranteed. Whilst there might be some justification for Googling to see if people are "a Nazi child molester on the no-fly list", it's really unlikely that you'll find any such clear-cut evidence and for anything less what you find is hearsay evidence at best. It's not illegal, but neither is Tarot reading to screen applicants. But who cares, right?

Hypocrisy, double standards, and CYA ("Cover Your Backside") tactics are as American as apple pie. And the impact on people trying to land a job is simply not the issue for the ones responsible for hiring someone.

Why not?

Well, how would you like to be the manager responsible for hiring someone who subsequently has an industrial accident (while cold sober), and whose web presence shows him/her writing something snarky about getting soused on the job? Or who is subsequently investigated for having one single marijuana plant at home and who has blogged about the virtues of said weed for relaxation? Or someone who creates racial tensions after being hired while his (somewhat racist) blog is there for the world to see? Or (if you work in catering or manufacture baby food) someone who turns out to be sloppy with hygiene when his Facebook page shows him in a messy kitchen?

Would you feel comfortable when the word "due dilligence" is used around you afterwards? Would you like to hear your ambitious rival mouthing hypocritical guff about "putting the company first", "exercising commonsense when hiring people", or "being net-savvy" afterwards?

No?

Then you'd better use *all* online information you can Google your hands on in 5 minutes, right?

I don't think that managers hiring people really believe that an unfortunate scrap of Facebook material makes someone unsuitable. It's just that they've got a choice to make (if they're hiring at all) and they can't waste all morning on it. Any reason to weed someone out that doesn't reflect poorly on them (better yet, which makes them look "savvy") in the eyes the only audience that counts (other executives) is a help.

Fear of being unreasonably second-guessed is a major justification for a whole host of useless security boondoggles, and I firmly believe that it's also why we see employers Googling for people that send in their resume.

Well (5, Insightful)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061355)

Is it good to take a stand? Yes.

Am I going to sacrifice my own career for this cause? No.

While they shouldn't snoop, It isn't going to stop. Don't you snoop out your potential employers?

Just don't let any non-friends see your Facebook.

Re:Well (5, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061463)

I'm more worried that potential employers will discriminate against me because of my name. My father, Frosty Piss Sr. fought long and hard for respect even as friends suggested he change his name when he emigrated to the USA many years ago...

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061541)

"Just don't let any non-friends see your Facebook."

Alright. Don't ever stop being friends with them. Don't allow them to post photos of you elsewhere.

Better advice? Stay the hell off Facebook, now and forever.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061555)

Actually I make sure to make sure everyone I know who posts pictures on Facebook to tag me in them. I then set my privacy setting of "Pictures Tagged of Me" to Friends Only.

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061677)

Or, and I know this is not a hugely great idea in a depression, only apply to jobs run by clueful people. The very idea that any law firm or financial institution that's been around since the seventies would find any of our generation's "excesses" shocking is, frankly, laughable. Get a few martinis in any old secretary and you will hear stories you will not fucking believe. We are amateurs.

Of course, those of us who have opted to not have children (so far? who the hell knows) will always find it easier to stand on their principles. Welcome to Lifestyles of the Rich and Childless.

Absoutely correct (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061723)

you are amateurs.

AND you should stay off FaceBook. A rational person who actually read and understood their terms of use would never sign up.

Re:Absoutely correct (1)

jackchance (947926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061747)

AND you should stay off FaceBook. A rational person who actually read and understood their terms of use would never sign up.

Can you expound on this for me?

If only put information on facebook that I would put on a personal web site that was completely public, what is the difference from the privacy perspective.

(I can understand there are differences from a copyright/owning your info perspective)

Re:Absoutely correct (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061901)

No, you misunderstood me. I am not saying you should stay off Facebook because it it somehow "more public" than another site. I am saying you should stay off Facebook, period.

Re:Absoutely correct (3, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061781)

Yeah, you know, the more I think about this, the more I feel that anyone who publishes their drunken exploits on a massively public forum deserves what they get.

Wow (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061587)

This is where I get to call you a pansy for not standing up for yourself and get away with it because it's on topic.

You don't even need a real tyrant to muzzle you -- you'll settle for an imaginary one.

I wonder what a prospective employer might think of the value of your input after that -- at least one worth working for.

Re:Wow (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061735)

If you think that's imaginary, they YOU are delusional. Go read Facebook's Terms of Use. I mean, really read them and think about them. Then come back here and try to say again honestly that it is imaginary. I don't think you can.

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061599)

Is it good to take a stand? Yes.

Am I going to sacrifice my own career for this cause? No.

Damn. I thought I was going to get that job after you announced you were taking a stand.

"It's good for you to take a stand. Good for me, that is."

Re:Well (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061629)

Don't who said it but: "Principles are expensive, I try to have as few as possible".

The personal is political (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061675)

Well, the personal is political
Didn't you learn anything from the Democrats in the 70s?

In order to advance your political agenda you need to socially and professionally stigmatize and shun those who think and believe differently from you.

Re:Well (5, Informative)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061819)

Is it good to take a stand? Yes.

Am I going to sacrifice my own career for this cause? No.

If found this comment interesting. While I'm not commenting on you personally, the comment made me think of a Thomas Jefferson quote (of all things) that I think is especially poignant given recent events:

We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.

When we live on or near the brink of destitution such that we are totally dependent on our jobs (read, debt and utter lack of savings), businesses/employers/government have all the power and the people will lack the courage to stand up for what is right.

I'm not trying to be a doom-sayer here. Just pointing out a trend that I see where people often cite something unethical they see in their company or their industry in general but then never say anything about it because the potential retribution would lead to their economic demise. That, and I think that is one of the best Thomas Jefferson quotes ever.

Go look for another job. (3, Insightful)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061365)

If you work for an employer who does these sorts of sleazy things, why are you still employed there and not looking for another job? They obviously don't deserve your services. I know, I know, "the economy sucks"...but my point still stands.

Re:Go look for another job. (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061415)

We all benefit in many ways from the fact that our society is becomingly increasingly interconnected. However, that comes at a price. While I appreciate your opinion on the matter, I can assure you this trend is only going to accelerate.

People need to understand a simple concept: if you wouldn't feel comfortable saying something in front of a packed auditorium, you probably shouldn't say it in a public forum online. I absolutely defend an individual's right to express his views as he sees fit; similarly, I absolutely defend an employer's right to base his hiring decision on all publicly available information.

For some, increased transparency is a good thing. For others, it may prove more a hindrance. It's up to the individual to be conscious of how public actions may impact future opportunities.

Re:Go look for another job. (4, Insightful)

StingRay02 (640085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061455)

People need to understand a simple concept: if you wouldn't feel comfortable saying something in front of a packed auditorium, you probably shouldn't say it in a public forum online.

Absolutely. If you're comfortable voicing the opinions you put online anywhere else, then you're probably going to be miserable working for a company that refuses to hire you based on those opinions. If you're an asshat who likes to piss people off, then you're not likely to be working for anyone too long, anyway.

I'm not a big fan of the trend towards using online personas against people, but I see it as a reverse filtering effect. "You don't like me. I don't like you. Glad we know this now."

Re:Go look for another job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061669)

similarly, I absolutely defend an employer's right to base his hiring decision on all publicly available information.

Sure, but along with this, there should be increased responsibility on the part of the employer. Because it's so easy to find dirt on people, it's all too easy to hold new hires to a much higher standard than older employees. It doesn't seem fair to blackball an interviewee for something your CEO has also done, simply because the latter was googleable, for example.

An employer that passes on me because of some harmless college fun I had is probably not an employer I'd want to work for anyway. Then again, it's really easy to be taken out of context on the internet.

Re:Go look for another job. (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061689)

"For some, increased transparency is a good thing. For others, it may prove more a hindrance."

Agreed! Censorship cuts both ways, it's pointless to blame others for you're inability to self-censor.

Re:Go look for another job. (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061807)

Why should you, as an employer, discriminate against an employee based on their political or other opinions, if those opinions are not expressed at work? While you may have the right to do so (under many circumstances), why would you want to? Isn't that unethical and immoral?

Unless off-work behavior is directly affecting work, IMHO an employee's behavior outside the office or work hours is their own business. Different political views? Well, if I were actually running against an employee of mine there might be some conflict of interest; otherwise, none of my business. Does my employee smoke pot at home after hours? Unless I suspect that it is significantly affecting their performance on the job, I don't give a damn.

While it is well enough to tell people to be careful what they say online, online has become in many ways a replacement for "the corner tavern", where people would gather and exchange pleasantries and stories after work. If an employer discriminated against someone I know over something they said in the pub on a Friday evening, then that company would be on my shitlist immediately, as well as those of the friends I could convince.

Perhaps the answer is increased use of restricted groups online, where one can spout off to a known audience only, as opposed to the whole world.

Re:Go look for another job. (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061827)

People need to understand a simple concept: if you wouldn't feel comfortable saying something in front of a packed auditorium, you probably shouldn't say it in a public forum online. I absolutely defend an individual's right to express his views as he sees fit; similarly, I absolutely defend an employer's right to base his hiring decision on all publicly available information.

Shouldn't they be looking at, say, your ability to do the job and stay the fuck away from your personal life?

Re:Go look for another job. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061547)

If you work for an employer who does these sorts of sleazy things, why are you still employed there and not looking for another job?

Two possible answers (probably more):

First, many people simply are not in a position to be that choosy about employers. Do you read the papers? The economy is not that great and employment opertunities are tight as unemployment rises, and wages stagnate or even drop.

Second, what "HR" does is not always an accurate indicator of the quality of a particular employer. Often, initial vetting is out-sourced to Head Hunters. Often company layers (rabid cannibalistic weasels) insist on this type of background check. In general, good company or bad, it's just accepted across the board that this is what you do when hiring. I think it's probably difficult to find many companies hiring for professional positions who do not do this.

There is another school of thought that people who allow photographs of themselves partaking of wild alcohol and drug infused debauchery involving German Sheppards, latex, and number ten cans of peanut butter and enchilada sauce may not be the most reliable or upstanding people. I can't say if this is right or wrong...

Re:Go look for another job. (2, Insightful)

orzetto (545509) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061623)

If you work for an employer who does these sorts of sleazy things, why are you still employed there and not looking for another job?

That argument does not work well in a recession. Besides, even during economically good times, quitting your job may be not viable for a host of reasons, like having the only available job in little town, the only job close to significant other, being a PhD and thus overqualified for most jobs, working in a "non-essential" field of work (like IT is in the heads of some PHBs), and so on.

This is the kind of issue for which there should be a strong union of IT workers. A lone crusader simply loses the job, a union could actually get results home. I am also aware, however, that unions are not culturally very popular in the US, and that even if a law banning this snooping were to be passed it would be unenforceable anyway.

I guess creating a parallel Web identity, using PGP signatures and gizmos, would probably simpler to implement and more robust. But would a prospective employer hire someone who seems to have been living off the grid?

use common sense (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061371)

There are different levels of social networking. My direct supervisor knows that I have a facebook and that I post on slashdot. He knows how to find me on facebook, but not on slashdot (he doesn't know my handle).

An employee that can't realize when it is appropriate to share, how much information to share, and when to post anon, is not an employee that I would hire.

Actually this can be very informative (5, Funny)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061385)

... in the hiring decisions. It's a good thing I checked on Slashdot before we ended up hiring Anonymous Coward.

Re:Actually this can be very informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061755)

We hired CowboyNeal for precisely this reason. We don't know much about him, but he came with rave reviews. Polls show him leading in every category, even categories consisting otherwise entirely of machines, toys, abstract ideas, units of measure, and foodstuffs.

Most people want the job enough they dont care (1)

ender06 (913978) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061389)

While I am sure most people would like for their potential employers to not look at whatever they've posted of their personal lives online, the fact is that most people will start with getting the job, then caring about how their employer views their personal life.

Aside from that, I don't see why employers should care what I did in college, etc. other than what is on my resume and criminal record.

I almost added "and public records" to that, and then realized that that would include anything freely available on the Internet. On the other hand, it does give them a better idea of whether or not the potential employee would fit well in the company, hopefully by thinking of the other employees.

If it's public it isn't snooping. (5, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061391)

The subject line says it all - if it's public, it isn't snooping.

Re:If it's public it isn't snooping. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061429)

Agreed. What's the difference between a potential boss using google or, you know, asking people who know the would-be employee? Just because a person isn't listed on a resume doesn't mean their information can't be used to determine whether an applicant is worthwhile.

Re:If it's public it isn't snooping. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061507)

That's what I keep saying! I mean, the tree I was in was totally in public, and just because her second story window could be seen from there, that's no reason to get all 'restraining order' on me.

Just because it's not snooping doesn't mean it's not kinda creepy.

Re:If it's public it isn't snooping. (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061645)

The subject line says it all...

Then the comment is redundant.

Re:If it's public it isn't snooping. (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061667)

yeah i think people are confusing being naked in your house with the windows open and not expecting peeping toms with being naked on an open road and expecting certain people with whom you would like to converse with to just look the other way.

Re:If it's public it isn't snooping. (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061843)

My house is in plain view from a public street. If I saw my employer parked down the street on this public street and just watching me through the windows or seeing who I interact with I'm pretty sure I could call the cops, have him removed from the area, have him charged (if he came back) with harassment and stalking or just plain punch him in the face.

Seems to me one could be charged with stalking if they were trying to find every site/forum/blog I posted on just to dig up info on me. Isn't that what a Private Investigator license is for?

Yeah, good luck with that. (5, Insightful)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061393)

First, I'm an employer. Welcome to well-rounded individuals. Try writing good things around the web, and perhaps your potential employers will prefer you because of your life. Write crap, and don't be surprised.

But really, are you going to turn down a job offer because the potential employer searched for you? You can "tell" potential employers that you don't want them snooping, but that doesn't give them any negative for doing so -- you'll still accept the job offer.

But you do have boat-loads of control over your own personal freedom and civil liberties. If you don't want others to judge you, you get to be the judge. Start your own business, and run it any way you choose.

But if you're looking to benefit from someone else's proven model, someone else's money, and someone else's risk, then yeah your liberties are going to go unrespected because you're the one throwing them away.

You want liberty, take a look at what it's like to have complete freedom over a business of your own. You'll find that it ain't liberating in the ways that you were hoping.

By the way, it's excellent, and it's amazing, and I love every minute of it -- now I own and operate two and a half businesses because it's so great.

As always, take the risk, stake your life, then you can have it your way. You want to be an employee, and have your employer tell you what to do and even pay your taxes for you (well, most of them anyway), then you'd better believe that employer is going to look into you.

Besides, what's this liberty on the web crap? Public domain is the name of the game.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (2, Interesting)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061569)

As an employer myself I use the web searches as an extension of the background/reference checks. I do however prefer potential employees to give me reference sites - especially things like open source projects they are busy with. Checking their code on public projects is almost better then a test :-)

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061851)

A problem with that is that many people are kept too busy WORKING to be contributing to open source projects. Yes, you get an easy choice there... but you are probably overlooking a great many people of equal or greater skills who simply have not had as much opportunity.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (2, Interesting)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061769)

My experience is somewhat different...

One company I hired for sorted applications based on resume writing style, then gave all the final candidates a logic test.

One company requested an essay rather than a resume. The follow up interview was another essay written in the office.

One company presented several different programming puzzles in the application.

And, my god, one company hired based on the appearance of the female candidates.

My (tortuously arrived at) point is this... if you're applying to a company that screens based on google or facebook searches... FUCK THEM. I know this is akin to telling a battered spouse that she should leave her husband, but seriously, do you need to be a tool all your life? You do have a choice.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (5, Insightful)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061833)

But if you're looking to benefit from someone else's proven model, someone else's money, and someone else's risk, then yeah your liberties are going to go unrespected because you're the one throwing them away.

I take exception to this remark; you're saying that only business owners get to have human rights - which is unvarnished bullshit.

I work as a sysadmin in a private school. This is advantageous for both of us; they get a specialized person who can do a job no-one else there can, and I get to spend all my time working on the job I'm good at, instead of spending half my time on drumming up business and paperwork.

I've worked for big companies, I've worked for small companies, I've even run a my own (very small) company. As an employer, you get to judge me on my public life; that's why it's public. You don't get to dig up my private and family life as bluntly, it's none of your damn business. I don't give up my right of free speech and right to privacy (which IS a human right in the EU) just because you pay me money to do work you can't.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061841)

Liberty is never crap, regardless of where one seeks it.

The problem boils down to reconciling older paradigms and ethics with the ease of access and reference provided by the intertrons. Back in the Pre-Internet days somebody could subscribe to otherwise objectionable periodicals or be a member of politically marginalized groups and so long as they kept a low profile otherwise it would be entirely private. It's illegal to read others' snail mail and the only way to find out who was a member of what would be to hire somebody to follow them around, too expensive and time consuming.

However, now in the days of Google, it's easy and free to find out a lot of things about who subscribes to what, who is a member of this or that movement that somebody doesn't like, etc. etc.

Of course as it has been suggested by others on this topic, people can just use handles that they work hard at keeping separate from their 'real' lives. I myself am forced to do this by practical concerns. Ironically, it is the 'real' lives of people that ultimately become the least real. Just empty, fake polite drones, Stepford wives. No wonder 'anonymous' is becoming such a manic social force. People are becoming increasingly desperate to just be themselves without worrying about some retribution, not because they are terrible people but just because they're not the perfect, always friendly douche that every employer seems to cream themselves over.

I think its also a reflection of the generation gap. Generationally we're reaching the stage where middle management now knows just enough about technology to be dangerous and annoying, but they're still too old to have grown up 'in' the internet. When all the people who were born after 1980 make up a majority of hiring managers, I expect there to at least be more understanding.

In any case, FUCK. THAT. SHIT. [xkcd.com] That is all.

Great point (1)

zridling (710370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061395)

I should know. Some jackass posted a page on some site ten years ago claiming I was a woman, but me mistook me for my assistant, who had a subdomain within my company site. The goddamn thing googles within a top ten hit of my name. To this day I can't live that down and it gets old explaining the whole story. The girl died four years later, which only expanded the conspiracy. TIRING.

Re:Great point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061515)

I was going to ask something along along similar lines. Is it illegal to create a fake facebook account? Imagine not getting a job because someone played a prank on you?

No way to enforce it. (1)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061397)

You can tell your interviewer to not troll for information on google but it just will raise red flags. If I were hiring someone and was asked not to search their name, that would be the first thing I'd do after they'd left.

It's up to the individual to be vigilant and not surrender too much personal information.

I also think it depends what kind of search the interviewer is conducting. Just the name is good enough and isn't unethical. But it could quickly cross the line if you geek out and start running boolean searches across multiple search engines, checking against name, email, domain connections, etc, - in other words, turning into a jackass internet detective.

Re:No way to enforce it. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061701)

You can tell your interviewer to not troll for information on google but it just will raise red flags. If I were hiring someone and was asked not to search their name, that would be the first thing I'd do after they'd left.

If an interviewer asked if he/she could google my name, I'd shrug and say, "Sure, go ahead." My name isn't that common, but there are at least three others out there, probably more, in different parts of the country. If the interviewer comes up with something unsavory, how are they going to know it's me, not one of the others?

Re:No way to enforce it. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061883)

Don't you see that's part of the problem? Many of them would probably just assume that it's you, and judge you accordingly.

I would actually say "Sure, go ahead. My name is not common, but be warned that I know of two or three others out there who could give you the wrong impression."

After all, you *DO* google yourself from time to time, yes?

Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (2, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061403)

Employers do not care about the web ethos or whether snooping is fair or not, they only care about risk, profit, and loss. Information, regardless of how it is obtained, has bottom line dollar value to marketers, insurance companies, potential employers etc so any information they find on the web, whether favorable or unfavorable, will be used in the hiring decision. That is just reality and no amount of legislation or penalties will stop that or put the web genie back in the bottle. Really, unless you are a public figure then why do you have to put your real name out there along with whatever it is that you say? Use a pseudonym and say what you want, but be careful to never connect it or allow it to be connected to your real name ever. First rule of the web: never provide your real identity when a fake will do.

Re:Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (1)

Logic Worshiper (1480539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061443)

Agreed completely. Never provide your real identity when a fake will do. Problem solved.

Re:Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061479)

It seems that you've been living two lives. One life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number, pay your taxes, and you... help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo"

This debate has been going on for quite a while now. This movie is 10 years old this month.

Re:Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061519)

Really, unless you are a public figure then why do you have to put your real name out there along with whatever it is that you say?

Because nobody should ever be ashamed of who they are or feel they need to hide themselves in order to conform to some "professional" ideal.

I'm just as outspoken IRL as I am online, even at work. I actually get quite a lot of respect for it in fact, so yea, employers acting like in the TFA are probably crap places to work anyway.

Ditto (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061803)

Same here. It hasn't caused me any problems.

Re:Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (1)

pitterpatter (1397479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061869)

I'm just as outspoken IRL as I am online, even at work. I actually get quite a lot of respect for it in fact, so yea, employers acting like in the TFA are probably crap places to work anyway.

You might think differently if you had a 7-digit UID like I do. ;-)

Re:Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061655)

We are the borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. (No, seriously, what is the response? "Yes, I'll start obsessing over whether my actions cause risk and monetary loss?")

Re:Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061713)

We are the borg. Resistance is futile.

And we are the Vogons! RESISTANCE IS USELESS!

Re:Employers Aren't Interested in the "Web Ethos" (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061759)

Really, unless you are a public figure then why do you have to put your real name out there along with whatever it is that you say? Use a pseudonym and say what you want, but be careful to never connect it or allow it to be connected to your real name ever. First rule of the web: never provide your real identity when a fake will do.

Because it's really, really hard to compartmentalize your life that way. There's a reason the government runs into a million miles of red tape when they do. For example, it's pretty hard not to talk so much about yourself that you could verify whether a suspected person is or is not the one hiding under this nick. That makes it quite dangerous even if they can do nothing more than to hook your pseudonyms up with the pseudonyms of your friends. Let me try to make an example:

Say you're part of a small WoW clan with your real life friends. Obviously your friends know your real identity but they won't reveal it and you don't need the WoW world at large to know so you use a pseudonym and since it's a gaming forum you never really tell much about yourself. And you post on slashdot under the same pseudonym. Then in some post you mention in a comment to a gaming article that you played in a WoW guild with friends.

Now comes an asshat, searches your slashdot history, finds that reference and the nicks of the others in the clan. No biggie, nothing much interesting there. But then he digs on their nicks, and they've been a bit careless and sloppy, finding their real names hooked to those nicks. Using that it's not so hard to find real world connections, and among them there's you. So far it's really all speculation on using the same nick and whatever but then he starts matching the real life with your slashdot posts and if it's a match he posts it up. Game over, everything you ever said on slashdot is now linked to your real world identity even though you've been really careful. And any other pseudonym you ever linked to your slashdot identity again and so on.

I don't think what I've described here is so unusual - you have your real life persona, you have your pure online identities but then you have all these places where you meet somewhere in the middle like a pseudonymous blog about real life and online communities with real life friends. Unless you're really, really careful they will link all of this together and these are like dams that can only be broken, never rebuilt. And most people don't realize until the tidal wave is coming.

Horsepuckey (0, Flamebait)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061889)

"Because it's really, really hard to compartmentalize your life that way."

No, it's not.

Free Speech? (1)

jacumba (692476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061407)

Free Speech does not mean speech without consequences. If you're willing to say it, you should be willing to suffer the consequences.

nicknames (1)

Bredero (1154131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061411)

and thats why you use an alias online kids.

Use it to your advantage. (5, Funny)

n1hilist (997601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061445)

1. Set your facebook/irc/whatever status to reflect your positive attitude towards your corporate masters.

2. Blog and upload photos on your various social accounts showing how dedicated you are to working over time and how you're doing it for the team dispite not getting paid!

3. ??

4. Profit!

Yes! (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061487)

In fact answer all interview questions with: "None of your business" or "I don't see how that's relevant". If pressed act paranoid and ask if they're secretly with the government.

I also recommend walking in and setting the interviewer's desk and chair on fire. After all you need a way to distinguish yourself from other candidates. If you still aren't sure you'vet made an impression you can poke them in the eye just to be absolutely certain.

Well either that or you can just realise that everything on the web is public and that when you're interviewing for a job any employer might not be able to by law hire at their whim, but in practice that's how it works. If you're a professional keep your public information respectable, or use a pseudonym that isn't easily traced back to you. Drunken photos and rants about sexual exploits are not a good career move. In some circumstances participating in a flame war is inadvisable.

Re:Yes! (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061571)

I also recommend walking in and setting the interviewer's desk and chair on fire. After all you need a way to distinguish yourself from other candidates. If you still aren't sure you'vet made an impression you can poke them in the eye just to be absolutely certain.

I followed your advice. I didn't get hired, but they gave me a great letter of recommendation when I mentioned I had an interview with a competitor of them later that day.

Public, other Public, and Private (1)

MykeBNY (303290) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061495)

That's why I keep my online handle disassociated from my real name. I even have two separate email accounts. One I give to friends who know I'm a sick fuck, and one I give to employers who know I'm a good reliable person.

Googling my real name doesn't turn up much that's actually associated with me. Last I checked out of all the hits only two were me; one was a tech troubleshooting site and the other a source code archive.

Googling my main handle turns up all the weird porn I'm into. I really really don't want to have any public link for the two.

I also put most really personal things in a private setting on my blog, so only authorized people can view it. I'm sure it could get out eventually, like an authorized person getting a virus that transmits their browser cache or something, but it's Good Enough for me.

Not going to happen (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061517)

It's next to impossible to determine why a potential employee was not hired unless you have a telepath handy. So no matter how many rules and guidelines and whatnot you draft up, you can't stop people doing it. A typical example has been landlord and tenants - many people have a spare apartment and rent that out. Now in aggregate it's fairly obvious to see that there's some discrimination going on, but trying to somehow prove racism from a landlord choosing one tenant just never happens. Only if there's a repeated pattern of some clearly identifiable trait do you have a shot at it. Obviously a hiring manager is hiring a lot of people so you got quantity. You could probably pick up on him never hiring blacks or woman or people he suspects to be muslims or gays. But proving him disqualifying a very non-specific group of people on vastly different reasons he found online? Not happening.

I'm not trying to argue the morality of it, surely they should leave things alone unless it got good reason to impact your work relationship. But 99% of the time you won't even know you've been victim of it, and even if you do 99% of the time you couldn't prove it. A long shot lawsuit against a corporation for not hiring you, while you're presumably busy seeking other jobs and burning through your nest egg already? Please. The closest thing you can hope for is that these companies miss out on a lot of great talent and that the market will even it out a bit. For you personally it's still the far better option to keep your private life private.

not really an option right now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061523)

unfortunately we can't afford to make such a demand right now. also unfortunately employers are missing out on a lot of really good employees because of such idiot policies.

you can't come in in your best clothes with your most eager expression and hand your resume to someone you can make an impression on. job seekers are simply not allowed to make any extra effort any more and it's showing in the quality of a lot of employees I see all over the place.

Info that "others" post about you... (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061531)

To some extend we all have control of what information we ourselves put on the web about us. The difficult part to control is what other people put on the web about you. That's almost impossible to control.

As an alternative (and this has worked for me previously) is to point your potential (or current) employer to sites that you do have some control over - like LinkedIn, your SF projects etc. These sites also extend your CV to a certain point - if you manage it properly.

Although it might not prevent them from digging deeper, at least they can look at your serious/positive side without you risking them "stumbling" on all the wrong information only.

Employers aren't Interest in /. (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061533)

Post whatever you'd like, no one reads /.

Well no one important.

We already allow them to analyze our urine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061605)

check our credit, and background. Lets work on not letting them require samples of bodily fluids before we worry about crap that we voluntarily posted in some public space online.

What happened to personal responsiblity? (1)

redkingca (610398) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061609)

If the only online presence you have is "that picture" of you dong a keg stand "that one time", or your bloging about how many drinks you had each weekend; then you're the one with the problem. The potential employer cared about or liked you enough to actually check to see what information they could find about you. So they did the fastest, cheapest, thing that they could do they searched your name and guess what they found.

Looking for real work or a career is involved and if you want an employer to invest time and money in you, maybe you need to be more prepared then wearing a suit to the interview. Do something proactive about your web presence, don't whine because the only information they could find online about you was that party you went to last week(or every week). In theory you picked references for your resume that would say nice things about you. Why not get a few posts online about that volunteer work you do?

name != unique identifier (5, Funny)

Ghubi (1102775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061621)

Lets all change our names to John Smith. Yeah, Google that biches.

Why should they stop snooping (4, Interesting)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061625)

If an employer doesn't like what they find, I don't want to work for them.

I even have a "best way to google my name" section on my resume:

"Greg Barton" java -indonesia -kayak -mozart -football

i.e. I'm the Greg Barton who's a java programmer, but not the Indonesia expert, olympic kayaker, football coach, or Mozart scholar.

That actually helped me get in the door on my current job. :)

Re:Why should they stop snooping (4, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061809)

Hmm.... From that search string I would guess you are:

'Greg Barton', and not 'Greg "Farton" Barton' as your schoolmates used to call you. (And then proceeded to google-bomb unquoted searches for your name) Last summer you had a really nice vacation to Java and all, however it quickly turned bad after arriving in Indonesia.

The Java vacation photos: Good.
The Indonesia vacation photos: Bad, especially the ones where you've got white powder remains under your nose and two (rather cute) young Indonesian boys on each arm. (Legalities keep you safe)

That kayak accident? Real nasty. A moments of inattention and the world lost one of the best piano players of Mozart's great works. You every right in the world to blow up like that, he was just plain _rude_.

You love football. The one where they use their feet.

Re:Why should they stop snooping (1)

ieatcookies (1490517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061885)

Yoink, and now I'm Greg Barton

Re:Why should they stop snooping (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061907)

I even have a "best way to google my name" section on my resume:
"Greg Barton" java -indonesia -kayak -mozart -football
i.e. I'm the Greg Barton who's a java programmer, but not the Indonesia expert, olympic kayaker, football coach, or Mozart scholar.

Fool of a Barton! You could have gone with:

"Greg Barton" +java +indonesia +kayak +mozart football

and been the java programming, Indonesia researching, olympic kayaking, Mozart studying Greg Barton (football coaching optional).

Employers should be required (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061643)

by law to give prospective employees an honest reason why they were rejected. I know they don't like to do this because of potential repercussions, but that is really not as big of an issue as they try to make it.

The explanation can be as simple as "others were more qualified". There is nothing wrong with this explanation. But if the real reason is different ("I liked the look of Potential Secretary X's legs better", then they should not lie about it... although they will anyway. The point is that they should not, and there should be a rule saying that they should not. It distorts the employment market, which is detrimental to commerce and to society in general.

This would solve a lot of problems. It would help prospective employees actually find out what their weak spots are as far as the job market is concerned (rather than just being told "we picked somebody else"), and thus it would help match up companies with the employees they are actually looking for. Note that someone who is job hunting cannot improve their skills to get a good job if they are misled about what skills are in demand.

Also, if there were actually a law about it, if someone felt that they were rejected for unfair reasons ("the other candidate gave me oral sex"), they would actually have some recourse. Hard to prove? Sure. But if they CAN prove it, then at least they could get some compensation... as they should be able to, because by being rejected under false pretenses, they not only lose a potential job but they are not given the information they need to improve themselves so that they can get another.

I am not talking about discrimination here. I am talking about honesty in hiring. Two very different things. Discrimination laws might (in some cases) make it illegal to hire the person who gave you oral sex, if others were more qualified. My proposed law is not about discrimination at all. As long as you told the rejects honestly why they were rejected, then you would have nothing to worry about... except those discrimination laws of course, which you would have to worry about anyway.

Re:Employers should be required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061893)

You're gay, aren't you.

I wonder how the Goatse guy makes his living? (1)

Pinkfud (781828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061679)

I mean, well, that classic photo wouldn't impress very many employers....

Give them what they want to have (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061691)

They want to find details about me? No problem. To my name you will find blogs praising the developments of my work area, you will find how I spend time teaching in my spare time, you will find how I am the best buddy of important figures in the field. None of it real, all of it faked, but hey, I'm not lying on my resume. Did I ask you to dig for details about me? No. Did you draw the wrong conclusions by thinking it's real? Hell sure.

You want dirt on me? Find a way to connect my online aliases to me. Doubt you'll make it.

Give your audience what they want to hear. It's way more credible than lying on your resume. It's lying with your alleged life. If employers want to be lied to, that's something I can handle...

clarify Google policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061705)

Does Google look at your search history when you apply for employment there?

AGHAST! (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061715)

How dare people who know my name enter my own personal name into a search engine and then read the results. THE INDIGNATION OF IT!

Honestly, don't post shit you don't want people to know on the internet. There's only one iluvcapra, not the one that applies for jobs and the one that gets wasted in TJ on the weekend and posts it on his myspace page. Why are you putting things you don't want people to know about you on the public. damn. internet?

Obligatory xkcd (5, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061719)

Re:Obligatory xkcd (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061853)

Stupid urge to express online has nothing to do with fulfilling dreams. That strip is naive and overly dramatic.

Forget employers, try the border guards (1)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061743)

This happens not only with emplyers, but border guards are now looking at people's activity online to make sure you represent what you say you are, especially if you're a valid foreign worker working in the US. Beware the blog and social networking site if you're on a visa, because what you post can hurt you.

Don't use your real name on web sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27061753)

And don't do anything to connect your chat name with your real name.

The funny thing is that in Videodrome they had this quote:

"Of course, 'O'Blivion' was not the name I was born with. That's my television name. Soon, all of us will have special names â" names designed to cause the cathode ray tube to resonate."

Which could be changed to:

"Of course, 'O'Blivion' was not the name I was born with. That's my Internet name. Soon, all of us will have special names â" names designed to cause the inter tube to resonate."

Alter Egos! (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061761)

I never use my real name, or official email when blogging or posting on forums. I never ever posted my pic or anything that can identify me online. I don't socialize online. In fact, most of the time I never use the same user id or email. So no one can track me from forum to forum, or from blog to blog. Some emails I create are just for forums and blogs registration, never for anything official.
Basically typing in my real name or any of my aliases will return random (little to none) results not related to me at all!

Or not. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061793)

How about if we are all just totally honest about everything. Why should an employer hire you if you drink, and they don't think a drinker is the best fit for the job? And if everyone is honest about stuff, maybe it will help people have reasonable expectations.

Looking a publicly available information and using it to make hiring decisions is not "snooping". You put that information up there so that people can know about you.

Please. (1)

Intrinsic (74189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061839)

Two things, do the best you can to help people, and be open an honest about your beliefs and ideals online, this tends to help people understand you better, if a potential employer negatively judges you for what you did online, its either a) something you can learn from and improve your character, or b) you were better off not being hired by that employer. People make decisions about how they are able to trust you from what you say and do in your personal life, the same thing happens online. If what you do is not getting the results you want, its time to try something else. But if what you do makes you a good person, and adds value to your life and others, but someone doesn't agree with it, then its just their issue and its not part of who you are. You don't want to work for someone who doesn't have some of your most important interests at heart. If you do, you will end up regretting the job, the people you work with and your time will be a waste. You will feel it in your bones. Dont sacrifice your values for collective beliefs, it will only bring you suffering.

When employers ask you about your online activities and you feel you are a good person, don't make excuses, calmly tell them that those activities make you who you are and that you wouldn't change it for the world. at the same time admit to those times when you were wrong or made an ass out of yourself. People value honesty over anything, because everyone knows that we all are just human beings, and we are trying to do the best we can.

If you find that you are having trouble finding work because of something you did online and its their for all to see, its time to switch tactics and find another way to make income and rebuild your reputation, start a small business, or work in some kind of care where you are helping people. What ever happens to you good or bad, there is always a reason for it, and its up to you to make the best of it, try new ways of looking at things.

Most of all don't buy into this belief that you cant make a life for yourself because our society is what it is today, just work around it. There is always a way out.

I've hired and been hired ... some thoughts... (1)

steve buttgereit (644315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061861)

You know... I've hired a bunch of people, and I've had a bunch of jobs over the years.

I not only look online to see what a potential employee is like, when a new boss comes my way, I research the hell out of them, too.

My personal political views, when found to be in conflict with someone, don't stop me from hiring someone. Indeed, say someone were in porn... I would still hire them if 1) I thought they could do the job and 2) they were deep enough in the org that no one would care (from the press point of view). As a hiring manager outside of work is outside of work, period. But, I can learn about how dedicated a person is that way... think how many top notch developers are in open source of their own desire for excellence, they have an tend to have an online presence and a reputation I can understand that I could never find in a simple interview or calling references. I'm out to hire the best that I can... not the most agreeable that I can: the best will contribute to the bottom line, the agreeable may or may not.

As for managers, damn shooting I want to know who I'm going to work for. And frankly, if someone bases a hiring decision for me based on out of work online activities... I don't want to work for them anyway...

People should stop being so pathetic about some of this stuff and understand their own value... including what they believe express it etc. An employer goes looking for you online... so what... if you have value and they are smart... they won't care... if you don't you should be fired anyway... if they fire a valuable employee... they get the worst of it anyway.

My two bits...

Enjoy!
Steven C. Buttgereit.

In case you don't know... (3, Informative)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27061867)

My real name isn't MrKaos.
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