COMMENTARY | The notion of a social media background check is something everybody should probably get used to. Gizmodo reports the new type of background check is being quickly adopted by companies of all shapes and sizes. That brings to mind the old Internet adage that you should not put it out there if you do not want someone to see it. Social media background checks are so popular that a business even popped up dedicated to the service, Social Intelligence.
A CNET report mentions some employers are asking users for passwords to their Facebook accounts, which is beyond unacceptable. Apparently, some companies have realized Facebook users can hide quite a bit of their activities behind the privacy controls provided by Facebook. Instead of applauding potential employees for taking their privacy seriously, these companies want inappropriate access to applicants' accounts, which is crazy.
Facebook has taken to an Associated Press report to let users and businesses know that sharing of passwords is off-limits. So kudos to Facebook on that topic. But social media background checks are going to be part of the new business world, that much remains pretty clear. The question of whether companies should be concerned about what folks put on their social media accounts is separate issue.
Sure, social networks are a great place to learn about what people are all about, but that is what job interviews are supposed to be for. The shift to gathering electronic knowledge about people could be due to more of a lack in confidence of managers in finding the right people for the job or it could represent a turn in the interview process. Every job applicant knows that posting pictures of that crazy Saturday night in Las Vegas is probably not the best idea, but is it a potential employers business what an applicant does in their spare time?