As an investigative tool we can enhance our surveillance efforts by getting to know a subject through a social media investigation. But during an interview, and it real time? Are they looking to avoid hiring a party person, someone with imagery conducive to workplace violence or that their ‘hobbies’ as noted on their resume match the photos on their Facebook page? That’s what some recruiters are now doing as part of an interview for employment – asking for login credentials of the interviewee on the spot. An interesting from of employment screening definitely.
I’m not sure this kind of tactic will be permitted legally going forward, but I definitely know that there’ll be lots of people out there with two personal profiles once the word gets out that they may encounter this in an interview. One ‘real’ profile with all of their crazy party photos with friends, and one ‘dummy’ profile with photos of family, volunteering at soup kitchens and helping seniors across the road.
Job seekers get asked to provide Facebook logins
SEATTLE — When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.
Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn’t see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.
Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn’t want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.
In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person’s social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.
“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it “an egregious privacy violation.”
Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.
Since the rise of social networking, it has become common for managers to review publicly available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates. But many users, especially on Facebook, have their profiles set to private, making them available only to selected people or certain networks.