Facebook and other social media platforms are becoming common topics of discussion during the job interview process. More employers are first vetting a potential employee by “Googling” them, checking out their Facebook profile, Twitter feed, Google+ account, and more. This has led some job seekers to either hide or delete their accounts all together.
Going too far?
Some, though, are taking the “trial by Google” even further by asking prospective employees’ to give up their personal account passwords. In one recent news account, a New York City job seeker said an interviewer asked him for his Facebook account login information when she was unable to find his profile. This particular job seeker refused and withdrew his application.
Like this candidate, many are objecting to such requests, likening them to asking for a person’s house keys. Others have questioned if such inquires are even legal, and Facebook has come out against it. Regardless, the practice is taking place, and it’s causing some job seekers to feel as though they are caught between a rock and a hard place. Do they divulge this personal information, even if it makes them uncomfortable, to gain a leg up on the competition? Or, do they stand by their convictions and watch a prospective position slip away?
As an employer, we caution you against the risk of losing good candidates over a questionable practice far outweighs what benefits you may gain from viewing a person’s personal information. In fact, we suggest it’s never okay to ask for this type of personal information. Moreover, is it worth the potential legal ramifications for doing so? For job seekers, things are a bit grayer. If you’re completely comfortable sharing this sort of personal information with a potential employer, that’s certainly your right, but we expect the vast majority of users will decline to provide the information, and rightly so.
What would you do?
Employers, what do you think about this practice? Have you ever asked an interviewee for the keys to their social media accounts, or would you consider asking such a question? Job seekers, how would you respond to being asked for your Facebook login information?