Prospective Employers checking out your Facebook!!

Have you ever been told off at work for something you said or posted on Facebook or another social media?

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Yesterday an article of mine was published – can be read here:

http://www.eve.com.mt/2015/02/18/sexy-or-slutty-if-you-have-it-flaunt-it-right/

The article is about how different people can perceive ‘sexy’ and ‘slutty’, since these two terms are entirely subjective. That is, what is sexy for me, may appear slutty to my neighbour, and vice versa for example. It is also about the importance of posting and uploading certain things on Facebook, and the consequences of this.

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I know for a fact that most employers in Malta check a person’s Facebook and anything they can find on him/her online, before interviews, therefore fair or not, some employers DO judge a prospective employee basing their judgment in part on their social life, and behaviour in general, and not just on the prospective employee’s professionality or how much they know the job.

Is that right?

To be honest, I am of two minds about this.

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If an employer is searching for the best candidate for a position, isn’t he at liberty to take into account a person’s behaviour, mentality and the way s/he thinks and can interact with others, apart from his/her academia and work experience? Especially if the person will be working in a team?

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On the other hand, how can someone who doesn’t know you judge you from a simple Facebook photo? What if I think I look hot and sexy in my photo, and the prospective employer is a conservative and thinks I look slutty and promiscuous? Is he at liberty not to hire me then? Just based on my appearance? Isn’t that discriminatory and illegal?

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5 comments on “Prospective Employers checking out your Facebook!!

  1. I’m more of the “it’s discriminatory and illegal” bent. It’s why I don’t use my real name on FB, or any social media, and why if FB tries to call me on it I will just leave FB. We all have different personas online, even those of us who try to be as genuine as possible. I feel like I actually am my more genuine self online… meaning I’m more confident, and more likely to stand up for what I believe in, because I don’t have to wear the mask of social propriety I have to wear when interacting offline.

    Especially in a professional setting.

    I shouldn’t be judged on my ability to do a job–even my level of professionalism–based on my online persona. Because it’s not the same as my offline persona. I can be rowdy and lewd online, and be perfectly capable of smiling politely and curbing my language in person.

    I feel strongly about this, if case you couldn’t tell. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe yes I could, but i get where you’re coming from. Same here actually. I have nothing in common with my collegues at work, and honestly, I’m not interested in having them as friends. They are collegues, and that’s as far as it goes. My private life is totally separate, and no one but my friends can see anything on my facebook. I pointedly do not add anyone having anything to do with my working life. That being said, I also get why certain professions require certain measures – one wouldn’t want an amateur porn star baby sitting their 12 year old son who’d be just reaching sexual maturity for example… and so on and so forth.

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      • Why not, though? That’s a judgement on someone’s character based on their profession. A porn star isn’t going to automatically be a child molester, or interested in seducing a young teenager. And if you really think that’s a terrible profession, giving them the chance at another one would get them out of said profession, and give them a chance at another kind of life.

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      • I never said I personally would have a problem with that, I gave it as an example. Parents have the right to know who is spending time with their kids. Let me give another example to show this – if say you were separated and your ex had custody of your child for the weekend, and you knew he and your child were spending every weekend with your ex’s partner – wouldnt you want to know what kind of a person she is and how she treats your son/daughter? this is the same thing. Say the profession in question is being a carer in an old people’s home – wouldnt you want to know if your prospective employee had a history of negligence? Not a criminal offence mind, just in his day to day life. What if he forgot to give the patients their pills or mismanaged medication just because he was habitually careless or inattentive? You MIGHT see this trend in his fb page, for example if he had a habit of putting up a status each time something happened to him or he made a mistake or lost a previous job and he gave this as the reason. It might seen far fetched but many people are obsessed with tweeting or uploading statuses every second.

        I’m playing the devil’s advocate here because I AM of two minds about it. Just because I’m taking the other side of your argument does not mean that I dont agree with you 🙂

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      • No, you didn’t say you, but what you said was “one wouldn’t want,” which implies you and everyone else.

        Perhaps I don’t see FB as a viable place to get that sort of information because on the other side of the argument, I believe people shouldn’t talk in detail about their work (unless that’s actually part of the job) on FB or other social media. I don’t (or didn’t, before I went back to school). The most I might have said was “today was a hectic, crappy day.” But I would not have gone into detail about the whys and whos. Maybe that’s because I worked in a hospital setting, where there are actually laws against doing that, and it’s been conditioned out of me. But I also think it’s a little stupid to do so when someone knows a prospective new employer could be searching for your Facebook account, whether or not I believe it’s right for the prospective employer to do so.

        Would I search for a prospective employees Facebook? No, because I don’t believe that’s right. Also, because that’s why applications have spaces for applicants to list their previous employers, with contact information; if they don’t, or if they leave off the contact info, then I have reason to suspect they might not want me to learn something about their time there, and I would definitely be looking up that contact info, because that’s what I’m supposed to be using to get an idea of their work ethic, skills, and abilities.

        I understand. It’s difficult to get an idea of tone off someone’s written words, which is why I rely heavily on someone’s word choices to glean intention. 🙂

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