March 21, 2012

Like or Dislike: Job candidates asked to relinquish Facebook passwords

by Jaimie Siegle | Advertising Systems, Inc.

For the past few days, stories are circulating about a new trend within the interview process: Employers are asking for a job candidates’s s social media credentials (i.e. username and password) in an attempt to weed out the candidates who may not be a fit for the company.

Yesterday, an article by the Associated Press told the story of Justin Bassett, a New York City-based statistician who withdrew his application and said he “didn’t want to work for a company that would seek such personal information.”

But Bassett isn’t alone in his experience. Maryland correctional officer Robert Collins relinquished his Facebook credentials in 2010 after being asked to do so by the interviewer.

In the AP article, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr calls it an “egregious privacy violation,” and individuals both employed and unemployed agree.

A report released last October said that more than 90% of employers check out the social media profiles of potential employees. And while we can’t deny that a person’s Facebook page can be a valuable source of information, the idea of handing over one’s password is an issue still up for debate.

Would you give your Facebook password to a potential employer and let them poke around? If you’re an employer, what are your thoughts on the issue?

We can’t tell you whether or not you should relinquish your account credentials. But for now, we can advise you to keep those privacy settings “ON” … and be careful what you post.

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