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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Facebook Access and Potential Employers

Logo courtesy of

More and more employers are demanding potential employees surrender their facebook log in and password as part of the job interview. So if you are a potential employee who has embarassing photos or just personal information you are not comfortable sharing with a potential employer, beware what you post on facebook or be prepared to walk out of a job interview.

What's your opinion? Do companies have the right to view your facebook page as a prescreening tool for a job applicant? Is nothing private? Even though facebook's rules and regs prevent this potential misuse of their pages, job applicants are between a rock and a hard place--just how badly do they want that job? And how much would their facebook page be an embarassment to them or to a potential employer? Would your facebook page lose you a job?

I almost hate to admit just how boring my facebook page is... mostly blog post promotions, contests I've entered, other sites I like.  But I really object to an employer invading ANY potential employee's privacy by asking for access to any password protected site. There's a reason there is a password on the site. And a reason no one has access unless you 'friend' them. What's next? Will they want access to my email accounts? My Amazon account? Will they want to know what books I read? What restaurants I like? What I buy on eBAY? And are my medical records next? Can the ask what church I belong to or do not belong to?

Asking for a facebook password is like asking what size underwear an employee wears--none of their business. If an employer is unable to evaluate a potential employee well enough from interviews, references, and other information they can access without a password there is something wrong with the system. And any employer who continues to ask for this information will not need to wait for the government to shut down the practice, they will shut down their access to the best and the brightest who decide they don't want to work for a company with this policy and will take their very marketable skills elsewhere. So companies who continue to insisit on facebook password access are likely to end up with the dregs of the employment pool.

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