1. I think you covered it when you said that if you publish things in a public forum then you are skating on thin ice. Actually, I’d say you haven’t got a leg to stand on.

    Employers don’t have to divulge why they didn’t hire you (or in this case, give an interview), and even if they choose to divulge why, they can always find other reasons. I think it comes down to the fact that if you want to get into an industry that is web savvy then check yourself online.

    Like I have been told a million times, before posting something on a public site consider whether you would be happy for your partner, mother and employer to read what you just wrote.

  2. As an employer myself, there’s two iron-clad principles I must follow as a responsible corporate citizen: People I hire must be:

    1. Qualified and capable (skills)
    2. Appropriate for the environment (personality)

    I reserve the right to determine suitability of both factors to the best of my capability and if anyone thinks I don’t Google their name in advance of an interview, they’re pretty naive.

    That said, I think I’m fair in my assessment. I wouldn’t be put off at all by a candidate’s tweet saying they do sweet FA at work because, frankly, if we excluded all candidates who said that, it would be pretty slim pickings. There have been points in my career where it was true for me as well, it certainly doesn’t define me. Some perspective is important.

    it’s pretty difficult to “unknow” information about someone; once I read a candidate has been bragging about committing fraud, or abuse, or demonstrates an inabiilty to communicate well …. I’m afraid this will be considered.

    I’m not a lawyer either, but I do know this: privacy online is an illusion. Any prospective employees working for me would be well-advised to be prepared to live with their digital footprints, warts and all.

  3. An interesting article, but isn’t using someone’s information via Google eg tweets and public facebook status messages to gather for HR purposes not classed as an invasion of privacy or discrimination?

    Are there new Law’s in place (or is it a grey area) on the dissemination of information gathered from Social Networking sites? What do employers say to let the candidates down (those who didn’t get the job based on the public information they’ve gained) – without divulging specifics, and opening up claims against them for discrimination etc?

    Firstly, to protect yourself I suggest you make sure your twitter and facebook profiles are friends only, do not add work colleagues to these sites and if you must have work colleagues on social networking sites make one specifically for those people but don’t forget which account your posting messages to, otherwise your message, however innocent, tongue-in-cheek could get you fired, or at least reprimanded.

  4. I teach my business students that whatever you put out there is PUBLIC information. What do you want people to know about you? Even a totally private confidential email can be sent on to someone in a fit of the nasties and you’re in trouble. It may be dangerous to google someone and then not hire them, but only if you tell them that’s why. How many people out there are not getting interviews because of something they’ve posted and have no idea why…

  5. I put everything out there – I get better employers then, those that “get” me. Same whacky sense of humour. Transparency and authenticity have always worked for me.
    Clash of values will always exist – Jen calls herself a Whinging Pom, the applicant called herself Potty Mouth. Better they find out BEFORE they end up in an office together that they don’t suit.
    As for me as an employer, better the devil you know. We shall be very suspicious in the future of too perfect, too manufactured reputations, no?
    Davids right- someone mucking around in social spaces could be hamming it up. Like me – I fake being a ditz. Well sometimes it’s fake…. :p

  6. The fact is that we are now as public as celebrities and everything we do has an impact in our image we should learn to be careful on what we do an post out there. The reality is that employers have now access to more private information about us, if we are using the social networks for our businesses we should also be careful in what we publish about our personal life.

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