Employers are becoming more and more internet savvy and checking out applicants via their Facebook and MySpace pages. According to an article on SmartMoney.com, it has become a common practice for employers to check out applicants' pages on these two sites. This practice has sparked a debate – should these sites have some kind of privacy tool integrated to keep the information private? For example, if a college senior wants to put photos of a keg party on her MySpace page, should that affect her chances for employment years down the road, or is this an invasion of her privacy?
According to a 2006 study by Career Builder, 25% of the 1,150 hiring managers surveyed reported using search engines like Google to screen job applicants. 150 of these managers admitted to using social networking sites to check up on applicants. The survey also indicated that 50% of the managers surveyed admitted to not hiring an applicant because of information obtained from online searches.
So, this begs the quesiton – is this process an invasion of privacy? Should applicants be asked for their permission to allow potential employers to poke around on their MySpace and Facebook pages, or are these pages considered public domain? Let's face it, we all did things as young adults that we regret today. But, is it the employer's place to use this information as a hiring tool?
Regardless of if it is right or wrong, be careful what you put on your MySpace and Facebook pages. It could come back to haunt you in the future.