Facebook: Fact or Fiction? (Or Both?)
August 21, 2009
The following story isn’t anything new to our readers. We’ve stated time and time again that employers should not use social networking sites as a way to investigate job candidates because the information you find may not be truthful in nature. How do you know that the Facebook profile filled with bad language and borderline inappropriate photos you are looking at is your candidate’s creation and not the invention of a former friend, spouse or co-worker with an ax to grind? Denying someone a job based on information found on a social networking site could be asking for trouble.
But what about offering someone a position with your company based on the favorable information found in their profile? This section of the article peaked my interest:
“On the other hand, some candidates are doing a good job of presenting their professional side when posting online. Half of those who screened candidates via their social networking profiles said that they got a good feel for the person’s personality and fit within the organization. Other employers said that they found the profiles supported the candidates’ professional qualifications or that they discovered how creative the candidate was. Solid communication skills, evidence of well-roundedness, and other people’s good references (we assume this one came from LinkedIn) helped boost people’s credentials, too.”
With all of the press surrounding employers using sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter to screen job applicants, it’s only a matter of time before applicants catch on and create fake profiles to make themselves look more qualified and professional than they really are (and maintain their real profiles under a pseudonym known only to the people they want to know). And those references you see on LinkedIn – I could have a handful of glowing references on my profile by the end of the day just by sending a mass text to my old high school and college buddies.
Employers – Don’t believe the hype about how great social networking sites are to screen candidates. Can you imagine having to explain to your boss: “Well, their facebook profile looked okay…”
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