Employers And Facebook

Here’s a post from Forbes that states the obvious – employers check out prospective employees on Facebook. That’s right up there on the no duh scale with “number one seeds never lose in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament.” But there are a few points from the post that I found of some interest. First, at least some employers feel they are able to discern fairly specific traits from a prospect’s Facebook activity. Are they extroverted, conscientious, and open to new experiences? Second, at least some prospects seem to feel that it is somehow an invasion of privacy for employers to check them out this way. There are policy reasons why employers may want to reconsider whether to use social media sites to check out prospects – it may invite a discrimination suit if you only check out certain classes, it may lead to the discovery of information you’d be better off not knowing, such as a medical condition – but from a legal perspective, it is not an invasion of privacy. That is almost certainly the case where the prospect has not limited access to the information. If you want the information to be private, use a privacy setting. If you don’t, you can’t very well argue that you had an expectation of privacy.