Social Media in the Hiring Process
This challenge focuses on your attitudes toward the use of social media in the hiring process. Justin Bassett, a statistician in New York City, was interviewing for a job when the interviewer used the computer to search his Facebook page. The interviewer could not access Justin’s private profile, so she asked for his login information. This practice is increasingly happening to job applicants. How common is the practice of employers looking at information on Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts, and other available sites to learn about applicants? Probably enough to worry about. Annual surveys have shown results ranging from 10 percent to almost 70 percent in recent years. A July 2013 survey by CareerBuilder showed a slight increase: [N]early 39 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 37 percent last year. Of those, 43 percent said they have found information that factored into their decision not to hire a candidate.76 Because many people set their profiles to private, employers have begun asking for passwords. Rather than asking for passwords, other companies ask applicants to friend someone at the company or to log into the site during the interview. The end result is the same; employers want to view applicants’ private profiles.77
Addressing the Challenge
1. What would you do if an interviewer requested that you provide private login information? Be sure to explain or justify your answer.
a. Don’t provide the information. Private is private, and the employer has no right to view this information.
b. If you want the job, provide the information.
c. Withdraw your application. Who wants to work for a company that wants to see such private information?
d. Invent other options.
2. What information about a person’s values or attitudes might be gleaned from a Facebook page?
3. If you were running a company, would you want to review potential employees’ social media pages? Why or why not?
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