I’m sure everyone has heard of Twitter, Facebook and Youtube (and if you haven’t, please lift up that rock that you are under).
Social Networking Sites have dominated the internet in recent years and continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Social networking powerhouse and industry leader Facebook originally was created for it’s user to find long lost friends, classmates, or any person(s) they are eager to reconnect.
As the popularity of Facebook has grown along with its members, other networking sites like LinkedIn and Biznik have found their niche in the business/professional arena.
Without a doubt networking sites have revolutionized the way people communicate and conduct business, users are now able to effectively reach millions of people who share the same interests, hobbies, and goals. However, there are negative implications for users of these networking sites.
Specifically Social sites where members post pictures, share thoughts, and receive feedback from friends and fellow users. Sharing sensitive and private information for millions of users to view open’s up the proverbial “Pandora’s Box”, especially when applying for a job.
Due to the current economic state of our country, and high unemployment rates, job openings are extremely competitive, and few and far between. With that being said hiring professionals want to know as much as possible about each applicant they’re thinking of hiring, of course the logical answer is to implement a background screening policy on all new hires.
Business Background Check Blog
Here is where those hip and innovative social networking sites work against the user or member. For example John Doe decides to upload pictures of his 30th birthday party where he is seen drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes. Additionally his friends post comments on his site stating how great the party was, how many drinks John Doe consumed, and seeing him passed out on the living room floor.
John decided to apply for a job; he completes the job application and waits for the company’s decision. A week goes by and John receives a phone call from the Human Resources department. They inform him that he is no longer being considered for the vacant position (no further explanation was given, just that they are going in a different direction).
A few issues here, John never completed a disclosure form authorizing the company to conduct a background check. Secondly, they didn’t give a reason why John was disqualified (i.e. integrity, criminal background, falsified application, etc.), but more importantly he wasn’t able to dispute there findings (adverse action process).
In a nutshell the Human Resources professional INVESTIGATED John’s social networking site and found the content inappropriate, they made an employment decision based strictly on his site!