Monday, February 22, 2016

Employers softening their touch in checking applicant social media

Take a look at the column “The Workologist” in the Sunday Business section of the New York Times, Business Section, page 7, “Resume, References, Now Tweets”, online titled “The resume and references check out;now, how about social media?” 
Actually, the article encourages caution by hiring managers and HR people.  Check for patently offensive posts, but don’t delve too much.  Don’t friend or follow someone just to investigate (the applicant would wonder what’s up).

The idea that employers were checking social media started to surface as early as early 2006.  I had my incident as a substitute teacher in late 2005.  But my issue was more a mass of online writings on flat sites, that people could search for with troubling terms.  It’s possible that one could use a search engine to look for certain kinds of subtle prejudices or idiosyncrasy, that could pose a legal risk for someone being hired into a position to make decisions that affect the real lives of other people. 
There’s also the issue of the kind of comments one attracts in social media, including retweets and replies.  Some people actually make a lot of this (and say people in sensitive situations should block people who could affect them), but I think the whole thing is overblown. 

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