There have been stories in the past months about candidates going for job interviews where the managers conducting the interview have openly asked them for login information to their Facebook profile. Yikes! On the spot without warning or remembering what is on your profile? Some people gave the information and some didn’t. For those that did and commented about it afterwards, they said they had absolutely nothing to worry about. But then there were others that felt pressured, felt like they had no choice or were just desperate for work.
I’m very selective with what I post on my personal social media pages, but the problem is, others can post photos of me. I did a little digging before writing this blog and found a photo with me tagged in it. The photo was taken and posted by some people my wife and I met at a rock concert. The one guy was visiting from Chile and attended the concert with his cousin who lived in Toronto. If someone did a little digging past all of my tame photos with family etc., they’d find a picture of me holding up a concert T-shirt making a crazy face which is a stark contrast from the person my clients see on a daily basis. The simple fact is that a picture can’t show context or explain the truth of a situation (such as the beer bottles in the background – one could assume that they were mine but in reality they belonged to the people who took the picture of me and my wife). So, the question is, should a person’s employment really be decided by a photo which cannot explain the behaviour of the people it contains or the context?
Personally, I feel that asking for someone’s Facebook credentials can be a dangerous question. The candidate can be solely judged upon them agreeing or disagreeing to give access to their account. So what is the answer?? By conducting background searches on a candidate’s work history, criminal background, resume and education claims, credit history (if it relates to the position), and in-depth references from past employers is important.
I keep a closed and very secure profile on social media, but if connections of mine don’t, it could expose aspects of my life that could easily be taken out of context.
I watched a video recently that was absolute genius in the way the message was delivered. It shows a clairvoyant reading the minds of random people that were asked to participate for a TV show. The gentleman was incredible with the general information he can ‘read’ from the minds of his subjects. The truth is – he has no magic powers. Before the people volunteered, a team of researchers behind the scenes gathered some general information about them from online social media. It’s amazing what can be found.
What was the message? Keep your social media and online presence locked up as secure as you can.
But wait! If you are the subject of one of AFIMAC’s investigations for benefits fraud, insurance claim fraud, workplace theft or an undercover detail…please leave your profile open. The investigations department wouldn’t be happy with me if that resource was no longer an avenue for their due diligence. Social media investigations are conducted frequently for clients – Chad Hanlon of AFIMAC blogs about an example here.