Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why the Use of Facebook In Hiring Should be Banned

So I recently had a Facebook conversation with a friend of mine and we talked about the ability or inability of scouters and employers and colleges and scholarship foundations to be able to look at the Facebook pages of the people they are either hiring or giving scholarships to.

Her argument, an argument of those that do this, say that it's okay to look at the Facebook pages of those either they are hiring or giving scholarships to because it is that they will become the face of that organisation or that scholarship foundation or that college.

I can see both arguments and well-balanced point of views in looking into a potential candidate's Facebook is fine by me. The problem is when it is, and it is, often taken overboard. This treads some very fine lines.

Another thing that she pointed out, which I believe is true, is that we have to be very careful about what we post on our social media accounts. Sometimes this is a forgotten part of society especially the upcoming generations that know nothing but social media and nothing but the internet.

For those of us that did not have the internet growing up, me being one of them, it does pose an interesting question of not just philosophical but also societal standards and cultural standards. Where do all of these standards that we have collided? Where do we have the standards from newer generations versus the older generations being able to come together?

What I would like to argue is that even though I am of the pre-internet era I believe that employers do not have the right to be essentially looking at the pages of their future employees as a basis to negatively discriminate. To me, looking to get a feel for who the person is, is quite different than with the intention to find something wrong with the person. This means intentionally looking for a reason not to hire someone.


This is not because I am anti-business nor anti-college or anti anything. Quite the opposite is true. I believe that by looking at the pages of those that we are looking to employ or that we are looking to come into our colleges we will have an adverse effect on diversity and we will have an adverse effect on ourselves as a business or a college or whatever the institution may be.

A lot the times when you're looking on Facebook (and employers are not exempt from this) is that we are looking for things that are like us that we can identify with. For example, when you comment on a friend's post it is either because it's like some kind of emotional reaction or because you find common ground or because you feel the need to speak up. This isn't always the case but it holds a lot of truth. Therefore, how are you going to be able to know that the person that either is looking to hire you or on the contrary, a person you're looking to hire is not being held to an impossible standard of having that connection over the internet with you when that was never the intention of their post.

The other problem I have with employers and colleges looking at Facebook pages is that your Facebook pages for you and your friends and your family. It is not something that you build up by making sure that it looks perfect for an employer or a college. In a modern day and age where we are so connected with each other which is a double-edged sword, I don't feel that this idea of perfectionism is something that needs to be upheld to a point that a person is no longer themselves on their own personal page. The key word here is a personal page.

If I am looking at someone's Facebook page like friends I actually respect and love when someone is sharing all sides of them. Whether this is a drink after work or a divorce or the most amazing the thing that happened when they climbed Mount Everest. The whole point of Facebook is to connect with people that you otherwise don't get to connect with and by interjecting a corporate view into our person page to the point that it no longer represents our whole self, we are no longer allowing ourselves to be who we are and the way that Facebook and Instagram are meant to be.

If I'm an employer and I do happen to look at a person's page trying to perfect this idealism of who that person is dot dot dot… is going to look bad. The reason being is because then I know if you are not being all of who you are. If you hire someone and it turns out they are not that person at all then you have a whole new set of issues than if you would never look at all. Not only that, but more importantly, when I look at someone's Facebook page and I see that only things that they share about themselves are good things then I know that either it's not a very personal person or they're not comfortable in their own skin or how much can one actually trust them.

This worry creates people who become users of Fakebook, not Facebook. Come find out what I mean here.
While this might be off-putting for some for others they get exactly the reason why it's so important. That is because the importance is not in them trying to be something that they're not but the importance is and representing and being who they are just the way they are.

If I'm an employer and I'm hiring someone and I do see their Facebook page I am so much more likely to hire someone who does have that beer after work what does with class or can share something that's hard in their lives because it shows that they have a sense of personality of vulnerability of connection with other people.

There's such a difference in being able to share who you are and then someone having zero class and starting Facebook wars with people. Not just saying your opinion but also hurting people in the process. Not showing respect for self or others on Facebook is another issue. I have seen people literally share things that would normally not be okay to share on Facebook. I have seen where people can share a little too much. But here's the difference… at the end of the day, it's their Facebook page.

While someone can judge them based on their Facebook page, employers can get themselves in some incredibly deep hot water. They do not realize that by looking other people's Facebook pages and going through their posts for months on end that they can actually get lawsuits put on them because there's a certain point where looking their Facebook picture to see if you're a good fit is one thing looking at it because you want to judge them as a person is absolutely not okay.

Someone in this post or in this conversation on Facebook right up something that was really important and one of those things was that this employer would go in to the hundred people that they had waiting to hear back on an application. They then went to every single person's Facebook page and scouted them out. If someone had a private Facebook page they would automatically not hire them. This even bringss questions about A) getting on the wrong Facebook page and B) what about those that don't have Facebook?

At the end of the day, we don't want to create a society where we are mimicking Brave New World. Where we are asking people not to be themselves but to be a better version of themselves because what one person sees me not be good enough to get hired as everyone else you slim as perfectly awesome and unique the way they are.

Looking at someone's Facebook page you don't know everything about who they are as a person or what their experiences in different fields. I know many people who don't post all of their volunteer work on Facebook or don't post all over there ideas on Facebook. So to judge them based on something that is not a whole picture is incredibly detrimental to everybody involved.

I strongly urge people looking to hire people, are looking to give scholarships or for colleges anybody that is looking at someone else's Facebook page, that it is their personal Facebook page and it's like a diary. Also, put yourself in their shoes don't go in with the mind frame that you're going to be judging them as a person because they might have a beer after work and they posted it and you judged them and don't hire them because of it but then as soon as you're done looking at their page you go out and you're doing the exact same thing you're having a beer you're having fun with your buddies. So don't cast stones!!

My biggest worry is that we are coming into a big brother society more than we ever thought possible. I don't hide stuff very well and I don't feel like it is something that anybody has to be ashamed of for being who they are. So we need to look at people as people and not as numbers profiles not as something other than what they're not.

Know that the person on the other side may be the exact person that you need because they are different than you and me they bring a set skills you and never knew existed if you can give him the shot.

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