Many of you who follow the news have heard the stories of potential employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews. In today’s competitive job market, this appears to be one more thing they’ve added to the list of how they determine if you’re desperate enough to take anything, and work for anyone, holding out until better working conditions come along, or if you’re the type of person who’ll stand up for what they believe in. Unfortunately, standing up for what you believe in is a gamble you take that may cost you the job.
On March 28, The House shot down a proposal that would reform this practice – making it just as much of an HR violation to request this information as it is to request your age or your religion. The proposal was shot down.
Interestingly enough, of all the media coverage we’re getting on this, what we aren’t hearing is that most of the employers requesting the login credentials are law enforcement agencies; which, according to the article I linked to, are not regulated by the FCC and would not be affected by the bill anyway.
Regardless, let’s put this hypothetical situation out there… suppose it is just law enforcement agencies requesting credentials. And suppose the argument used to support requesting Facebook passwords for these job candidates is “in the interest of homeland security”. You know, that’s still a crock, IMHO. It puts the employer in the position of discriminating against the candidate after seeing a personal profile. We’re only human. We judge. The job candidate has a right to privacy and has a right to a personal life outside of the workplace. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, the job candidate is innocent until proven guilty. Why aren’t we treating the person with the right he or she deserves?
Lastly, if this practice stands in one area, it will eventually spread in Corporate America as a common hiring practice. But that’s my opinion, and we all have an opinion.