The onus is on the individual to make their settings private. Every post you make is a representation of who you are in one form or another, and an employer, much like anyone else, is open to research your background and find out what they are getting as an employee.
Now, is it foolish and stupid for people to look back at what you posted on your Myspace profile when you were 14 and judge whether or not you would be a good employee (or a political figure, lol) based on that? Definitely.
But at the same time, are people a little too free with their comments, and do stupid things and publicize them in ridiculous ways that rightfully condemn them to the unemployment line? It is a certainty, as the 8 ball would say.
People need to be more responsible with their social media.
Finding someone's social networking profiles can help determine a job candidate's personality. Someone who frequently curses or makes racial statements can make or break whether or not a person gets a job or not. Social media can help weed out candidates before the interview process even starts, which saves time and money when hiring someone.
People post photos of themselves doing drugs on their social networking sites. They also post photos of illegal hunting and gang related activities. Employers should check social networking sites because it gives them more information on the person they might be hiring. It would be beneficial to know if your applicant is a criminal.
Employers should check social networking profiles of candidates before hiring them. If candidates publish information about themselves on the Internet, it becomes public. It is the duty of human resources departments to search for online information about candadates in order to make sure that they are not lying or misrepresenting themselves in their resumes.
I definitely think that employers need to check social
networking profiles of candidates before hiring them and also after employment. People tend to lie in job interviews. If you want to get a true sense of what
someone is like, all you have to do is look at their social media profiles.
When you publicly post information about yourself on a social media site, surely you understand that the information is available to all. If we are comfortable with allowing potential employers to complete background checks and verify references with previous colleagues, then how could we complain that they are researching the easy-to-come-by free information available online?
Some employers have required people's passwords so they can look at the things on their profiles that the person decided to only show to friends, or they require you to add them as a friend to get the same privileges.
That should NOT be a condition of employment. However, what ever an employee puts online without any restrictions on who can see it should be fair game.
In the old days only 15 years ago, an employer would not have known what you did on the weekend or in the evenings after work and all you had to do was do your job well. Social networking sites are personal sites that need to be reserved for friends and family.
Employers have no right to check the personal social networking profiles of candidates. In fact, it is against Facebook policy for users to give their password out. Employers should only ask to see a candidate's social networking profile if that profile is used for business purposes. What candidates do on their own time is irrelevant to employers. What they do on the job is relevant.