Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taleo helps employers screen out weak candidates; how Twitter can get you fired in fewer than 140 characters!


I got an email yesterday to download a white paper on pre-selecting candidates from a company called Taleo. It’s called “Knock Out Unqualified Candidates with Taleo’s Smart Screening Kit”, link here.

I’ll let the user decide if she wants to see it, but you have to be a real “company” to see it, from the questions asks. It looks like you get a 30 day free trial with it.

But the Taleo Blog is quite interesting, link here. It pointed to an MSNBC story by Helen A. S, Popkin, “Twitter gets you fired in 140 characters or less: The 'it' social networking tool of the hour streamlines your humiliation,” link here. It gives the story of a Cisco applicant who announced his acceptance of a job with a rude tweat, and then had it rejected. Employers can track you on Twitter just like on Facebook, and you don’t have to be Ashton Kutcher (whose online stuff is pretty upbeat, really).

There is another article on Thomas Net (from 2007) about Taleo’s “Smart Sourcing” which includes a Facebook application, which would allow members with appropriate profiles to see the jobs.

It sounds like there’s an initiative to screen, somewhat more systematically, the online presence of candidates, outside what candidates give you with resumes and obvious places like LinkedIn. It’s easy to imagine companies setting themselves up to do this, very much the way public relations companies are now getting set up to repair the damage done to brands by “viral videos” (covered on Nightline April 21). The ethics and legal environment of such practices will come into consideration (I’ve seen every viewpoint imaginable written about this so far), but one obvious person is nabbing the wrong person online and mistaking him or her for the candidate – and behind his back.

See my main blog for a discussion today of the way police departments screen candidates' own personal profiles.

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