Fears As Online Info Used To Vet For Jobs screams the usual tabloid-esque Sky headline. It’s not quite that bad but I can say that my current employers do indeed trawl Facebook and the like looking for information on prospective employees.
The thing is, it’s common sense. If you go posting stuff in a public forum along the lines of “I went out on a right bender last night. Must have had 18 pints. Sick as a fucker this morning, so I rang in and told them I had ‘flu” then you’re asking for trouble. People are still in the mindset that what they post online has some kind of confidentiality. Well, it doesn’t.
Using the above example, someone could (and should) be disciplined by their employer if they were found out. I can guarantee they’d go mad about work “spying” on them. But had the same person said those words out loud in the work canteen and been overheard by their manager, would they be as annoyed at the “earwigging”? Or more at their stupidity at being caught?
I also find it hard to believe that 60% of 14-21 year olds think their online data is somehow transient and can’t be dug up in the future. Leave stuff on a blog and it’s there to be found, even if you delete it. There are numerous websites archiving the internet and they can often even have old versions of web pages that have since been erased or altered.
Basically, don’t be a twat. Whinge about your work. Complain about your manager. Point out the flaws. I personally don’t think anyone can complain about that. After all, you could do the same thing at the pub. For some reason companies react very badly to people badmouthing them on web pages, but don’t have a problem with you telling all your friends by mouth.
Thing is, this is a two-way street. If companies would listen to their staff then perhaps they wouldn’t feel the need to badmouth them on Facebook or wherever. Conversely if someone does mouth off and a manager finds it online, why not take them aside and discuss the problem instead of the kneejerk reaction of sacking them forthwith?