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Any experienced interviewer will not make a decision on whether they agree with someone's views. However what is pertinent is how they say it. Someone who rants about their employer in an open forum would rightfully be judged as indiscrete - someone who does on a privaite forum or in PMs would show greater control.
To expand you analogy: if you get applications from internal applicants, you know more about their skills and achievements than an external applicant. Is that fair? Probably not but that is one of the things you have to accept.
From the link you posted:
Quote: so it recommends only relevant checks should be carried out.
HR wil not waste time searching FB for someone hired to stack shelves, but may well do for someone being hired into representative or executive positions. And even then, a person who is on the short list based on their CV will (as my wife has done) give the candidate a chance to clear up any ambguity.
An applicant’s social media page may include details of his or her race, disability, age, religion or belief, marital status or sexual orientation. These are all ‘protected characteristics’. An unsuccessful candidate might argue that they were rejected because of such a characteristic mentioned on their social media page and bring a discrimination complaint against you.
That is not a data protection issue but is a discrimination issue.
Of course social media is open to abuse, but until and employer is brought to court for (ab)using social media information I would say it is not a data protection issue.
Oh look, we've sidetracked again...
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You are of course only referring to those who have ranted about their employer and such like, and not the very vast majority who have not, yet still have their profiles looked at which may cause prejudice against them. Discrimination, yes, but it does happen
But look at it another way.
If the person had ranted without relevant cause, or pulled a sickie and got caught and fired, then that would be easy to check with a previous employer (if they had indeed provided a reference from said employer)
Or perhaps they were within their rights to rant about an unfair dismissal or whatever?
I'm just glad i'm self employed and dont have to go through job interviews! Seems its another avenue where these days you have to prove your innocence
Quote: You are of course only referring to those who have ranted about their employer and such like,
You are overthinking this, IMO. Basically, people need to be careful how they present themselves on the internet in exactly the same way they do in any social situation. If they make themselves identifiable when exhibiting 'unpleasant' (for the want of a better word) characteristics they should take any consequences.
Quote: I'm just glad i'm self employed and dont have to go through job interviews!
How do you get work then ?
It may not be an interview in the technical sense but I would assume you meet potential customers etc. in order to get that self employed work ! !
Quote: How do you get work then ?
Through his Facebook profile.
Of course, but fortunately I have the benefit of client references, experience and word of mouth alongside the quality of my work/product to promote myself. And when I was employed by others, I did not use Facebook. So how could my employers ever know if I was bitching about them or previous employers behind their backs, or even if I was likely to do so.
But of course, you could take it further. Should all applicants/employees be given access to the personal Facebook accounts of their (potential) bosses, managers or employers to make sure they don't talk about staff? I'm not trying to be picky about it, but it's one of these issues that can seriously backfire on an employer, and what lends to the bad name social media gets when it's abused.
I won't even mention the consequences of what could happen in an employment situation if you were 'fraped' and unable to adequately prove it
Quote: But of course, you could take it further. Should all applicants/employees be given access to the personal Facebook accounts of their (potential) bosses, managers or employers to make sure they don't talk about staff? I'm not trying to be picky about it, but it's one of these issues that can seriously backfire on an employer, and what lends to the bad name social media gets when it's abused.
The issue as I see it is one of discretion. Everyone bitches to their friends/partners at some point but not everyone does so in full public view and that seems to be the point you are missing. It is that element that is crucial to creating an good impression. If your potential boss makes derogatory comments on a public forum you would wonder what sort of company you are joining and it would probably have the same effect. In that rest opportunities are equal.
Quote: it's one of these issues that can seriously backfire on an employer
I agree with that sentiment, which is why a good HR department will only use social media in this way if they have reason to do so.
Yes mike, but as I repeat, it's not just about folk bitching about employers. There is the potential for prejudices to be made from looking at information. Not every hr department or employer is guilty of that, but it is a risk. People have the freedom of speech and should be allowed to say things or share views or have pictures of stag parties on their Facebook pages without it interfering with their professional lives, and that is my issue here. An application should be considered based on qualifications, experience, relevance, etc, and of course references are important. They should not hinge on comments, pictures and other info that an applicant does in their personal time
In these forums most if us don't know each other, but can formulate an opinion of someone based on posts that is very far from they way they really are.
Quote: There is the potential for prejudices to be made from looking at information.
There is the potential for predjudices to be made from looking at the face of a candidate. Are you saying that face-to-face interviews should be disallowed on the same basis?
Of course not, that's rediculous. I'm referring to things like sexuality, beliefs, political views etc that are not generally asked in an application, but may be found on someone's Facebook page. Obviously the majority of interviews and bosses would not take these things into consideration, but it has been argued in the past that people have been refused employment, or fired, based on that kind of information.
Not that I attempt to use it as a comparison, but look at the news recently:
Foster parents having kids taken away because of a political party they follow.
Phone and email hacking
Today there's a fresh look by the police at what's considered 'offensive' tweeting or posting on Facebook
And of course, in a time when people are struggling to find employment, it's made even harder by profile checks about their behaviour that may not actually prove they can't do their job?
As it said in the article I posted. If checks are to be made, they should be on professional networking sites and not social
Quote: but can formulate an opinion of someone based on posts that is very far from they way they really are
Nevertheless the opinion is formulated. You say it shouldn't be based on what someone might read on Facebook but it often is. Shouldn't has no meaning in that connection.
A friend of my daughter's, an amiable and capable girl is heavily tattooed. She wanted to join the police but couldn't because dragon tattoos on her neck and hands would show. The police maintain, rightly in my personal opinion, that many people would feel her presence threatening and that that made her a less suitable candidate than similar but non tattooed women.
She should be able to dress and decorate herself any way she wishes. She can, in fact. But there are disadvantages.
Ditto the Facebook pages. You are free to write any old stuff you wish there. But other people will read it and draw conclusions. The writer know that and needs to take responsibility for their own life. Would you write on a notice board in town some of the stuff people write on Facebook? No, of course not. But Facebook is far more public than a notice board.
In the end, if someone's writing draws a false picture of them, whose fault is that?
For example, you might formulate the opinion from this post that I enjoy an argument. Wrong! I am a man of peace and love, a purveyor of harmony and pacifism. Anyone who says differently can see me outside and we'll settle it there!
Lenny, you said it best with your closing statement. If I formulated the opinion that you liked an argument then I'd be wrong. So based on that, if I was an employer and I misjudged what someone said (often out of context) I'd be wrong and they would potentially lose the chance of a job.
Quote: Of course not, that's rediculous.
Why is it ridiculous? I'm sure it happens all the time, especially among smaller employers. The applicant may be black or wear a turban or have a Union Jack tattoo on a shaven head. An applicant might be dressed in such a way as to give clues about sexuality. Those cover your list, plus ethnicity.
Quote: I'm referring to things like sexuality, beliefs, political views etc that are not generally asked in an application, but may be found on someone's Facebook page.
If you don't like people who have those views, it seems a good job that they don't give you the opportunity to join them and you hate being there.
Quote: And of course, in a time when people are struggling to find employment, it's made even harder by profile checks about their behaviour that may not actually prove they can't do their job?
So be careful about what you put on social sites. Simple answer.
You seem to be denying that the applicant has no responsibility and giving the impression that companies screen FB for everyone who answers a job ad. it just does not happen like that.
Quote: Of course not, that's ridiculous. I'm referring to things like sexuality, beliefs, political views etc that are not generally asked in an application, but may be found on someone's Facebook page. Obviously the majority of interviews and bosses would not take these things into consideration, but it has been argued in the past that people have been refused employment, or fired, based on that kind of information.
I think that you will find that most employers, certainly in large companies and public authorities, do now check (or subscribe to the many recruitment agencies that will check) the digital footprint of applicants for key posts.
Not to feed prejudices, of course, but to disclose any information relevant to the applicant and the position that the applicant might have been reluctant to disclose in his/her application form or interview.
Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Recruitment officers have a duty to their employers to take every possible legal step to ensure that they get the most suitable recruits for any particular job.
In other words, never put anything on any social networking site that you might not want everyone - and I do mean everyone - to know at some time in the future. I think there are probably a huge number of people - who in the main will be responsible adults - deeply regretting what they may have embedded in their digital footprints 10-15 years ago when they were young and foolish and folk were less savvy about the dangers that would unfold in the intervening years.
Recruitment agencies may not yet have the powers to drill into online services to identify the real identity behind any pseudonym, in the way the police and security services can, but there is no guarantee that won't become more generally available in the future. (Maybe they already can and I am just a wee bit behind the times.)
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