An AP story reported last month a situation in which a company asked a potential hire for their password after learning that their Facebook account was set to private.
Many people are up in arms about the invasion of privacy, calling it ludicrous and unreasonable for management to think they can access an employee’s social media accounts. While it makes sense that a company wouldn’t want to hire somebody who could potentially be a detriment to their image, there are other factors at play here than how someone conducts themselves on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
There is, however, a minority of people who actually see the upside to this. A 2010 survey of US recruiters and human-resource professionals from Microsoft said: “The percentage of employers who say a positive online presence influences hiring decisions outweighs those who say they’ve rejected candidates they’ve found online.”
Maybe it’s bad and maybe it’s good, but this could one day become just another question potential hires have to be ready for in an interview, just like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “What’s your biggest weakness?”
Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.
Where do you stand on this issue? Is it right for employers to ask for social media passwords? Leave your comments, below.