The correlation between your Facebook page and how it affects your employer’s perception of you has grown exponentially since the inception of social media years ago. The good news is most employees and candidates for employment have learned valuable lessons from horror stories of people getting fired or reprimanded due to inappropriate posts, whether personal or professional in nature.
On top of making personal judgments about an employee, some employers are scanning Facebook pages to pre-screen and ascertain the possible productivity capabilities of a future employee based upon how many times per day or per hour they post on social media. Needless to say, many employees and those seeking employment feel this “stalking” form of pre-screening and interviewing to be totally invasive and counter-productive to the formal screening and interviewing processes used to hire the best talent for a company.
While working for a law firm, years ago, a co-worker and I received notification that a new attorney was coming on board to assist the office in a more “supervisory” role. The first thing we did, after receiving her name, was to conduct a search engine inquiry on her and what immediately “popped” up was her Facebook page. From her Facebook page we learned that she was older, loved to cocktail and also loved to take photographs with her breasts hanging out. Needless to say we got a great chuckle from learning about our new boss, but it also taught me that not only are employers looking, fellow co-workers, clients and subordinate employees are keeping tabs as well.
As noted within a recent Forbes.com article, if your privacy settings aren’t up to par, and anybody can peruse your social media accounts without requiring permission for access, there are several factors potential employers and “reviewers” in a recent study use to rate college students based upon “Five Big Qualities” that “supposedly convey” how much of an asset they will be to an employer. The raters look at photos, status updates, conversations with friends and also Wall Postings and rate as such:
As previously noted, this “stalking”/pre-screening effort utilized by employers (and employees) is nothing new and most times is frowned upon by potential employees, though deemed highly beneficial by employers. So, do yourself a favor and update your privacy settings if you truly want your personal and professional lives to not interfere with one another, especially when seeking to obtain and maintain employment.