The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

When Facebook isn’t your friend

with 3 comments


So, you’ve just scored the job interview of your dreams (or at least something close) and you’ve done your research on the company. Right about now, I’d bet you’re feeling pretty confident and prepared for any curveballs they may throw your way.

And then your interviewer asks: “Can you please log into Facebook right now so we can have a look around?”

This week, we ran a Bizarre HR about just that – companies that ask for Facebook logins to access potential employee’s profiles to gain a more, let’s call it “holistic”, understanding of the candidate.

I don’t know about you, but that’s sort of a deal breaker for me. Sure, there are a couple of things on Facebook I wouldn’t want my colleagues to find out about, but there has to be some kind of moral law (or actual law) against this. Right?

If you’ve been following The Snitch for a while now, you’d remember my attempt at staying off Facebook (obviously I went crawling back) so trust me when I say I understand the cheap thrill in venting about the co-worker who wouldn’t stop singing National Day songs in March, or how painful my last work trip was thanks to obnoxious cab drivers and inconsistent meeting times.

However, in the corporate world, a little discretion can never hurt. In the upcoming April magazine, editor Rebecca Lewis writes about the potentially disastrous effects a pissed off employee can have when they go on an online rampage.

Think about it. Here is someone with potentially sensitive information who believes they have been disengaged/insulted/mistreated (delete where appropriate) and has decided the best way to cool off is to broadcast their woes online.

Even something as simple as “Can’t people tell I’ve only got two hands?!” (I’ll admit I’ve tweeted that) can give the wrong impression. And this is if your profile is public.

Is anything even sacred anymore?

I’ve spoken to a couple of HR heads, and while most are against banning social media at work (“They’ll access it on their phones anyway,” one lamented), they do recognise the need to manage it.

With technology progressing faster than you can say Zuckerberg, and Gen Y’s who practically come out of the womb with an iPhone, there is no escaping the fact that social media is part of life.

While I am not a fan of potential bosses requesting access to my personal Facebook or Twitter pages (it would be timely to note I hardly ever accept friend or follower requests from colleagues), I do think HR has to determine how they intend to manage social media and its impact.

Let me know what you think and how your company manages social media both inside and outside the office.

PS: I just realised the irony of this post, considering I am the office snitch after all. C’est la vie!

3 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on drewdesigns.

    DigitalDrew

    March 23, 2012 at 10:03 am

  2. it’s so true. Too often I think we forget that our Social Media site is a representation of ourselves. Even if an employer shouldn’t have the right to look over our site as a way to determine our employment status, we still need to be aware of the image we are displaying to others. However, I think the real difficulty lies in displaying a uniform image of ourselves to all reference groups. In real life we can mask this to some extent. When I am with friends or family I act differently then when I am with co-workers or clients. Trying to merge these two parts of oneself to a place that all can view is where many people run into trouble.

    Chad

    March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

  3. […] our online presence can take serious discipline. Ironically enough, the blog “The Office Snitch” said, “Think about it. Here is someone with potentially sensitive information who believes […]


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