Let’s be frank here, times are indeed quite hard in the job market. Even with current job growth numbers, many people are struggling to find new or gainful employment. Now aside from checking your CV, some employers are looking to look even further into your life – they want your Facebook password.
There’s no denying, the world is getting smaller thanks to social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Twitter, but the always-public mentality that it has fostered is coming around to bite us all in the ass. Employers have every right to vet a potential employee to make sure they are capable of carrying out the duties that the post requires. And that’s it. Do you want to make sure that a person’s personality meshes well with the corporate culture? Sure, but that’s what an interview is for; you sit down with the person, ask some pertinent questions about their views about the job, make a decision. Simple process don’t you think?
Unfortunately what this new trend in hiring practices does is ask people to divulge information that they are most likely not even sharing with the very “friends” they keep in touch with. Does a person’s poor choice in books and movies really accurately paint the picture of how they will perform on the job? Does a Twilight fan make a better janitor than a fan of God Is Not Great? Should a person that loves The Hunger Games and Lolita really be entrusted with being a teacher? Should a fan of Dr. Dre and NWA really consider being a cop? The answer is, go fuck yourself. When you apply for a position with any employer, you have created a pitch listing your best assets and qualities that make YOU, the applicant, qualified for that position.
Yeah, yeah; it’s a soft job market and people are in need of a paycheck but if you’re willing to give up your personal life to a job, why should you expect that employer to value you as an employee? Sure this practice falls in a legal gray area, but just keep this in mind: recently an 11th Circuit Judge deemed that no government agency has the legal authority to compel an individual to decrypt the contents of a hard drive. As a society that’s doing more of its “living” in the cloud, you should be prepared to defend your right to privacy in that space as well. Next time an employer asks for your Facebook login, ask them for the keys to their house. After all we want to be sure we’re working for people with great and just values.