There is a debate going on about whether companies should look at employee’s and future employee’s social media sites. Some people believe that it is a good idea to investigate someone’s social media site, while other people believe it is not a good idea. A CareerBuilder survey showed that 39% of companies look at future employee’s social media sites. Of the companies that looked at the social media sites, 43% uncovered information that negatively impacted the person, while only 19% discovered information that helped the person. In another survey, it was found that 77% of companies look at social media sites to find information about future employees, and 35% of the companies took people out of the running for the position.
Nancy Flynn, founder and executive director of the ePolicy Institute, believes it is a good idea for companies to look at social media sites. A reason for looking at employee’s social media sites is to prevent bad situations. Companies are placed in unwanted situations if a current employee posts bad information about them. Their reputation could be negatively affected by a comment made by an employee. Many employees admit to posting unethical things on social media. For example, some hospital employees have posted information about patients online which violates the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If companies look at their employee’s social media sites, this problem could be controlled. Another reason for companies looking at social media sites is to look at future employees. They can look for signs of disruptive behavior that could affect the company if they hire the individual.
Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights institute, believes it is not a good idea for companies to look at social media sites. A reason for not looking at an employee’s social media site is because they could be fired for something that is not related to work at all. It is unethical to fire someone based on personal preferences they have on social media. Another reason against looking at social media sites to find information about future employees is that a company could miss out on a good employee based on their personal preferences. Also, looking on someone’s social media site could cause a company to get in trouble. A company could learn that the person is disabled, and if they hire someone else they could be sued by that person for unfair consideration.
I believe that companies should not look at social media sites to find out personal information about a person they want to hire. I think a company could be missing out on qualified applicants by searching through all their posts. I do think it is good idea for companies to hire a professional company to look up information about future employees, but the professional company should only look up important information. The professional company should look up information about criminal records and other background information.
What do you think of companies looking up information about you on your social media sites?