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Personal lives and hiring decisions (two threads in one!)

FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style?Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
This thread is about two separate but likely closely related topics!

Discussion topic the first. A friend (okay, it was Arch) directed me to a recent episode of PATV in which our lauded leaders of ludological levity interview for a Child's Play manager:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/pa-the-series/218/

The salient bits start about 5 minutes in. The intelligent and attractive young lady lands the job (omg spoilers!) but not before Robert Khoo discusses a particular concern... during the screening process, Robert uncovered the interviewee's identity on a forum in which the interviewee had been posting for years.
Here's the thing. I would love to hire you, but I have some pretty major concerns. Primarily, what we had talked about earlier as far as your - I dunno whether it's your prowess on the Internet, or whether it's being very connected online. I have read everything that you have posted in the last five years.

Now, in this case, I understand and sympathize with Robert's actions. The Child's Play Manager is a very visible role, likely with PR-related duties, with a strong Internet presence. Anything that Khoo can find, the gamers of the world can find, and they will be far less forgiving than he is. There is a clear business justification.

That said, this is becoming more common, even among jobs that aren't nearly as Internet-reliant or as visible as the CP Manager. In the absence of a clear strong business interest, is it ethical for a business to use the Internet to snoop into their personal lives? I think it's fine to do some basic background screening - did this person go to the school they claimed to go to, do the companies they claimed to work for exist, etc. If the employer uncovers a personal blog, or Livejournal, or forum account, are they justified in reading those posts in detail?

Furthermore, if they don't find anything that is a professional red flag, but the interviewer finds something about that interviewee's personal life that they simply don't like - the wrong political affiliation, for instance - that is unrelated to the job responsibilities, is it ethically wrong for the interviewer to factor that into his or her decision?

That leads me to question the second: how important is it that employees, coworkers, and supervisors be personally compatible as friends? The general wisdom is that it shouldn't matter if you like your boss or your coworker as a person, as long as you respect them and get along professionally. A new poster started a thread earlier with the following passage:
Just got finished watching part two of the Child's Play new hire video. Maybe it’s just how the videos are edited, but it seems like the PA offices are extremely "cliquish". Working for a small company myself I can understand the importance of getting the right people in the right positions and that team chemistry is a very important goal, however it seems the staffing decisions at PA have gotten to the point where alternative viewpoints or lifestyles are shunned. Even though the PA definition of "outside the norm" is not your typical corporate ivory tower, it seems to be enforced just as vigorously and dogmatically.

Robert and the others clearly have a defined vision for where Penny Arcade is going, but by ruthlessly purging and avoiding any staff who might not perfectly fit the mold, they run the risk of losing out on the unexpected gestalt, the outsider point-of-view, and the benefits of new ways of thinking.

Personally, it sounds like a very fun “as long as you are having the fun we call fun” place to work, and I wouldn’t take a job there if they paid me in gold coins.

I sympathize with this. I don't want to feel like I have to be buddies with my boss. I don't always have a lot of choice about who I work for and as long as I get the job done, it shouldn't matter if I like golf or UHC, country music or techno, NPR or Fox. And I've found that at very small businesses, it's hard to keep your personal life out of the business - politics and hobbies end up topics of conversation at some point, and if you have non-work-related personal friction with somebody, there's really nowhere to go. In a small environment, there are no other projects or departments to transfer to, no other cubicles to move to. I tend to prefer medium-to-large organizations largely because of this; I like the impersonal nature of them.

However, I'm in the fortunate position right now of working for a boss who I personally like. We see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. I daresay, this alone has improved my working mood immensely. I recently read an article (sadly, I can't find it now) by a semi-famous writer (whose name I can't remember) who argues that finding a boss who you like, as a person, should be a goal for any worker. You will be happier and more productive if your boss is also a friend.

So, what do you think? Is it okay for interviewers to snoop on the personal lives of their candidates, and is it okay for them to base hiring decisions on personal compatibility?

Feral on
every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
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  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't think that hobbies or politics need to be shared, but it does become pretty important that you are able to fit into the work culture to a greater or lesser degree. You don't have to be friends with your boss, but you should probably respect each other, and culture is a really big part of that. At the bar I work at, you can often tell someone won't last long because they just don't fit in. Not people that get fired, or harassed, people that just find themselves uncomfortable when talking to coworkers they don't relate to, and end up finding other work. Now, that's a non-career and very casual work environment, but I've seen similar things happen in my career field. In aviation there is a higher level of professionalism, so it isn't as big a problem on the surface, but as you give it time, people just move into other jobs they're more comfortable with.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Snooping into personal lives unless it's warrented (and I'd tend to be inclined that for something like the CP Manager position it is) is something I think is kind of horrible but i'm a pretty private person.

    As far as the personality/fit testing for hiring I think is something that I think also is context dependant. Do you need to be able to be best friends with your boss/co-workers if you work at Giant Accounting Firm A? No, probably not. However having friends at work will generally mean you're happier and more productive.

    For a company like PA I'd argue making sure someone is going to fit in with the atmosphere is a pretty good decision on their part.

    sigtk.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    In a perfect world, everyone would keep their personal and private lives separate and the two would never meet.

    It isn't a perfect world, of course, and how one behaves in their private life can affect their professional life.

    Consider, for example, that you have two applicants for a position. Let's also pretend that you know them both personally. They are both equally qualified. One is a friend of yours, the other you believe to be a total asshole. Which would you hire? Duh. Would this be an ethical decision? Sure. Because all things equal, you're going to function better with the guy you don't think is an asshole.

    Now, if we switch to a situation where they're both qualified, but one loves gaming and one hates gaming, and you're a gamer yourself, what then? Well, if it were me, I'd probably hire the gamer. Because we'd get along better personally. And, all things equal, it's nice to be around people you can personally relate to. Same if there are two people, equally qualified, but one you just mesh with while the other is someone you wouldn't want to spend five minutes chatting with because you find him boring.

    Of course, in the real world, all things are never equal. And there will likely always be one person who is better than the others in real, tangible, and work-related ways. And unless you know something really incriminating about him, you should hire him. Even if another guy is more fun, or shares the same hobbies with you, or whatnot. That said, it's often hard to be objective if one guy strikes you as really cool or fun. And there are certainly tangible benefits to working with people with whom you get along.

    Okay, but all that ignores the question of how deep should other people dig. Me, I think that if I can google your name and in five minutes I'm stumbling across extremely offensive or stupid things linked directly to you, you're probably a big ol' red flag. Because competent people don't generally sign into forums using their real name and say, "Man, I fucking hate black people and hope they all die." I say things on these forums that I certainly wouldn't want linked to my real name, and would not say in front of my boss, but I'm reasonably sure that nobody can trace this account to my real name without spending a whole lot of time searching. I have a Facebook account, but I don't say anything objectionable there (or really, much of anything) and I know how to sequester that account from non-close-friends anyway.

    Now, if someone is doing internet research and deciding not to hire you because you're gay or non-Christian or like rap or whatever, that's stupid and unethical and technically illegal in many cases. Though there's also not much you can do about it.

    So yeah, I guess the lesson is that employees should be discreet as possible, because there are going to be asshole employers out there who try to spy on you.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Now, in this case, I understand and sympathize with Robert's actions. The Child's Play Manager is a very visible role, likely with PR-related duties, with a strong Internet presence. Anything that Khoo can find, the gamers of the world can find, and they will be far less forgiving than he is. There is a clear business justification.

    I don't know, I think this is one of those things that is going to force a major re-alignment very soon.

    Basically this is the equivalent of interviewing everyone someone has ever talked to in the last five years. It's just a hell of a lot easier to do.

    But I think you have to ask yourself, was the only thing stopping you from doing that before the difficulty and cost? Was it a stupid idea to begin with, and is a stupid idea now?

    One of the job requirements may be to not say anything stupid on behalf of Child's Play. But I really don't see what relevance shit you have said online actually has to this.

    It's like basing your hiring decision on some shit you said during your high school commencement or something.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Of course, in the real world, all things are never equal. And there will likely always be one person who is better than the others in real, tangible, and work-related ways. And unless you know something really incriminating about him, you should hire him. Even if another guy is more fun, or shares the same hobbies with you, or whatnot. That said, it's often hard to be objective if one guy strikes you as really cool or fun. And there are certainly tangible benefits to working with people with whom you get along.

    Interestingly, I've read two books recently, by different authors, on different subjects that both have the same thing to say about job interviews. (The books are Sway by Ori & Rom Brafman and Snoop by Sam Gosling.) They both say that the typical open-ended job interview is a terrible dysfunctional way to choose an employee; it is far too prone to personal bias and does not really help you gauge the qualities that really matter. Sway goes into a little more detail, recommending that interviewers use written tests or mock projects, and when the interview happens to use specific questions about the interviewee's prior experience (rather than generic personality questions like "what's your greatest strength?")

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Now, in this case, I understand and sympathize with Robert's actions. The Child's Play Manager is a very visible role, likely with PR-related duties, with a strong Internet presence. Anything that Khoo can find, the gamers of the world can find, and they will be far less forgiving than he is. There is a clear business justification.

    I don't know, I think this is one of those things that is going to force a major re-alignment very soon.

    I suspect you're right.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Interestingly, I've read two books recently, by different authors, on different subjects that both have the same thing to say about job interviews. (The books are Sway by Ori & Rom Brafman and Snoop by Sam Gosling.) They both say that the typical open-ended job interview is a terrible dysfunctional way to choose an employee; it is far too prone to personal bias and does not really help you gauge the qualities that really matter. Sway goes into a little more detail, recommending that interviewers use written tests or mock projects, and when the interview happens to use specific questions about the interviewee's prior experience (rather than generic personality questions like "what's your greatest strength?")

    I've generally assumed the resume established your more definite qualifications while the interview was for making sure you weren't entirely full of shit and also weren't a complete sociopath.

    I mean, if the resume says you've spent five years working at an IT help desk, and your past employer says, "Yes, he worked for five years here at an IT help desk," and you can hold a thirty minute conversation with the interviewer without doing anything especially stupid, you're probably good enough for the job.

    Beyond that, just use a probationary period. If someone absolutely can't perform a job, it's going to be pretty apparent within the first couple months.

    I agree that using personal interviews as the sole metric for hiring is pretty myopic. That said, almost all interviews I've had have been heavy on describing specific experiences and problems I've encountered.

    (Honestly, though, I don't mind the current standards for strictly selfish reasons - I interview extremely well and I am excellent at being personable, to the point where I often wish people would just shut the fuck up and leave me alone already because they invariably assume I want to engage in small talk.)

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well, that's why so comparatively few openings are filled via open solicitation and interview. Even when employers (mostly governmental) are required by law or policy to run an external search, they often wind up hiring internally.

    Anyway, to the OP's broader point: if you've done so poor a job hiding your identity on a forum that a relatively unaware potential employer can definitively tie those statements to you, I don't see how they're meaningfully different than any other published statements. If your hobby was writing incendiary letters to the editor and you got one into print every couple weeks for years, would you be surprised or offended if an employer asked you about them?

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    I think what we're seeing is what happens when the ease of getting your views publicized runs into the ease of searching for said views.

    There are probably a lot of people who send retarded Letters To The Editor all the time, which don't get posted because they're retarded. Except now, suddenly, there's no such barrier. Your stupidity is there for all the world to see, with no filters whatsoever.

    I think the larger problem, ethically speaking, is when employers refuse to hire you just because you're engaging in harmless activities that they find distasteful but which don't meaningfully affect your job performance. Bad habits, sexual orientation, and so on.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It's not like it's that simple.

    In the case of the child's play hire, they had a gigantic pool of applicants. Maybe there's erica, who's got five years of background posting about whatever she posted about (haven't watched the video), and Jim, who's got five years of history posting on stormfront.

    Part of me says that shit doesn't matter and he can do what he wants in his free time. The other part of me says no way am I hiring a guy who spends his free time posting on stormfront.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It's not like it's that simple.

    In the case of the child's play hire, they had a gigantic pool of applicants. Maybe there's erica, who's got five years of background posting about whatever she posted about (haven't watched the video), and Jim, who's got five years of history posting on stormfront.

    Part of me says that shit doesn't matter and he can do what he wants in his free time. The other part of me says no way am I hiring a guy who spends his free time posting on stormfront.

    Is the other part of you also fine with someone not being hired because they donated to NPR?

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    It's not like it's that simple.

    In the case of the child's play hire, they had a gigantic pool of applicants. Maybe there's erica, who's got five years of background posting about whatever she posted about (haven't watched the video), and Jim, who's got five years of history posting on stormfront.

    Part of me says that shit doesn't matter and he can do what he wants in his free time. The other part of me says no way am I hiring a guy who spends his free time posting on stormfront.

    Is the other part of you also fine with someone not being hired because they donated to NPR?

    No, because those aren't my preferences. I like NPR.

    My point isn't really that it's good or it's bad; my point is that if you attach your name to public statements, it's unrealistic to expect nobody to ever read or react to them.

    That's the attitude adjustment that needs to happen. People think it's cool to post all manner of stupid shit on forums or facebook or whatever because apparently, they don't think anyone else is reading it.

    I remember some years ago there was a poster on this forum who entered politics and had a plan worked out with administration to scrub his entire history when/if he became a public figure. I suspect it's not totally gone given how the internet works, but I thought it was interesting that he(?) was thinking about it.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    It's not like it's that simple.

    In the case of the child's play hire, they had a gigantic pool of applicants. Maybe there's erica, who's got five years of background posting about whatever she posted about (haven't watched the video), and Jim, who's got five years of history posting on stormfront.

    Part of me says that shit doesn't matter and he can do what he wants in his free time. The other part of me says no way am I hiring a guy who spends his free time posting on stormfront.

    Is the other part of you also fine with someone not being hired because they donated to NPR?

    No, because those aren't my preferences. I like NPR.

    My point isn't really that it's good or it's bad; my point is that if you attach your name to public statements, it's unrealistic to expect nobody to ever read or react to them.

    That's the attitude adjustment that needs to happen. People think it's cool to post all manner of stupid shit on forums or facebook or whatever because apparently, they don't think anyone else is reading it.

    I remember some years ago there was a poster on this forum who entered politics and had a plan worked out with administration to scrub his entire history when/if he became a public figure. I suspect it's not totally gone given how the internet works, but I thought it was interesting that he(?) was thinking about it.

    What you are arguing for is the death of the internet as a public forum. Which would be a huge loss.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    It's not like it's that simple.

    In the case of the child's play hire, they had a gigantic pool of applicants. Maybe there's erica, who's got five years of background posting about whatever she posted about (haven't watched the video), and Jim, who's got five years of history posting on stormfront.

    Part of me says that shit doesn't matter and he can do what he wants in his free time. The other part of me says no way am I hiring a guy who spends his free time posting on stormfront.

    Is the other part of you also fine with someone not being hired because they donated to NPR?

    No, because those aren't my preferences. I like NPR.

    My point isn't really that it's good or it's bad; my point is that if you attach your name to public statements, it's unrealistic to expect nobody to ever read or react to them.

    That's the attitude adjustment that needs to happen. People think it's cool to post all manner of stupid shit on forums or facebook or whatever because apparently, they don't think anyone else is reading it.

    I remember some years ago there was a poster on this forum who entered politics and had a plan worked out with administration to scrub his entire history when/if he became a public figure. I suspect it's not totally gone given how the internet works, but I thought it was interesting that he(?) was thinking about it.

    What you are arguing for is the death of the internet as a public forum. Which would be a huge loss.

    Facebook (for example) isn't going to die as a result of having the collective realization that posting photos of you getting drunk and peeing on the sidewalk is a bad idea.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    It's not like it's that simple.

    In the case of the child's play hire, they had a gigantic pool of applicants. Maybe there's erica, who's got five years of background posting about whatever she posted about (haven't watched the video), and Jim, who's got five years of history posting on stormfront.

    Part of me says that shit doesn't matter and he can do what he wants in his free time. The other part of me says no way am I hiring a guy who spends his free time posting on stormfront.

    Is the other part of you also fine with someone not being hired because they donated to NPR?

    No, because those aren't my preferences. I like NPR.

    My point isn't really that it's good or it's bad; my point is that if you attach your name to public statements, it's unrealistic to expect nobody to ever read or react to them.

    That's the attitude adjustment that needs to happen. People think it's cool to post all manner of stupid shit on forums or facebook or whatever because apparently, they don't think anyone else is reading it.

    I remember some years ago there was a poster on this forum who entered politics and had a plan worked out with administration to scrub his entire history when/if he became a public figure. I suspect it's not totally gone given how the internet works, but I thought it was interesting that he(?) was thinking about it.

    What you are arguing for is the death of the internet as a public forum. Which would be a huge loss.

    Facebook (for example) isn't going to die as a result of having the collective realization that posting photos of you getting drunk and peeing on the sidewalk is a bad idea.

    Your trivialization of the issue is a dodge of the real problem.

    You don't get to just have this affect things you don't like. By far the biggest danger is that to people expressing unpopular political or social beliefs. The fact that employers could find out you support gay marriage and not hire you on that basis has a chilling affect on freedom of speech, freedom of belief, and so forth.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't think I'm trivializing the issue, I'm just picking the most illustrative examples I can immediately think of.

    The internet still gives you pretty tremendous ability to separate your identity from your statements. If you think being an advocate of gay marriage is harmful to your career prospects, you ought probably to be circumspect when you start attaching your name to those statements.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't think I'm trivializing the issue, I'm just picking the most illustrative examples I can immediately think of.

    The internet still gives you pretty tremendous ability to separate your identity from your statements. If you think being an advocate of gay marriage is harmful to your career prospects, you ought probably to be circumspect when you start attaching your name to those statements.

    1) The extent to which you can do this is shrinking every day. That's another way to resolve this problem though: everyone learns to be tech enough to know how to use proxies and shit to regain anonymity (all utilities are created to do this in a user friendly manner).

    2) That's exactly the chilling effect that I think we need to guard against.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    It's not like it's that simple.

    In the case of the child's play hire, they had a gigantic pool of applicants. Maybe there's erica, who's got five years of background posting about whatever she posted about (haven't watched the video), and Jim, who's got five years of history posting on stormfront.

    Part of me says that shit doesn't matter and he can do what he wants in his free time. The other part of me says no way am I hiring a guy who spends his free time posting on stormfront.

    Is the other part of you also fine with someone not being hired because they donated to NPR?

    No, because those aren't my preferences. I like NPR.

    My point isn't really that it's good or it's bad; my point is that if you attach your name to public statements, it's unrealistic to expect nobody to ever read or react to them.

    That's the attitude adjustment that needs to happen. People think it's cool to post all manner of stupid shit on forums or facebook or whatever because apparently, they don't think anyone else is reading it.

    I remember some years ago there was a poster on this forum who entered politics and had a plan worked out with administration to scrub his entire history when/if he became a public figure. I suspect it's not totally gone given how the internet works, but I thought it was interesting that he(?) was thinking about it.

    What you are arguing for is the death of the internet as a public forum. Which would be a huge loss.

    Facebook (for example) isn't going to die as a result of having the collective realization that posting photos of you getting drunk and peeing on the sidewalk is a bad idea.

    Your trivialization of the issue is a dodge of the real problem.

    You don't get to just have this affect things you don't like. By far the biggest danger is that to people expressing unpopular political or social beliefs. The fact that employers could find out you support gay marriage and not hire you on that basis has a chilling affect on freedom of speech, freedom of belief, and so forth.

    If we're talking about facebook specifically I would hope you would lock it down enough that a prospective un-friended employer couldn't see your political views just by visiting your page.

    My facebook page is not open to the public. That said I do have a number of people in my work network as facebook friends. I keep the tone much more civil over there than I do over here where I'm anonymous (sort-of), but I'm also not apolitical either. There are a number of co-workers or former co-workers or even potential future employers who know my politics and are on the opposite end of the spectrum. If they use that as a reason to not consider me so be it. That's a small selection of people though. If a prospective employer can find out more about me via facebook that's probably my fault and not his.

    I mean really they have been doing background checks for years. I would think that would be just as much of an issue as this. Is it fair that people can't get jobs because they were convicted of a crime many years prior? I wonder where we draw the line here.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I worked in an department where my views were contrary to most everyone else, so I tried to avoid political discussions as much as possible. It probably hurt me somewhat, as they definitely bonded more. Wouldn't say it impacted our work life, though.

    Work culture is also about the culture of the company, not just the people. For example, someone who does very well at say IBM or Motorola is use to a very structured, very spelled-out work environment where moving a monitor requires 10 signatures, minimum. We knew this person would not fit well at my company, as it was much more (excessively) relaxed.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I gotta imagine that the sheer legwork it takes to uncover a lot of stuff online is not worth it in the long run to most businesses for most positions. Will it happen? Yea. Will it happen often? Not likely. Will they Google you and spend maybe 30 mins seeing if they can find anything? Probably, but I'd say 30 mins tops.

    You can probably figure out where I work based on my posts here, but you'd have to comb through about a thousand posts and collate all of that information into something useful. Useless information overload is a good tactic, and making sure that the stuff you want people to see is hit number 1 is the other. Make a website, direct Google searches of you to iti. Be in control.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Is it fair that people can't get jobs because they were convicted of a crime many years prior?

    No and it is easily one of the many social problems that plague the US and have gone on unresolved far too long.

    However, running a background check generally will mean a far more stringent hiring policy, I think. Big companies that do those sorts of things have entire human resources departments who are trained to know what it is and is not okay to use as a determiner.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I gotta imagine that the sheer legwork it takes to uncover a lot of stuff online is not worth it in the long run to most businesses for most positions. Will it happen? Yea. Will it happen often? Not likely. Will they Google you and spend maybe 30 mins seeing if they can find anything? Probably, but I'd say 30 mins tops.

    You can probably figure out where I work based on my posts here, but you'd have to comb through about a thousand posts and collate all of that information into something useful. Useless information overload is a good tactic, and making sure that the stuff you want people to see is hit number 1 is the other. Make a website, direct Google searches of you to iti. Be in control.
    Yeah, I think this fear that the average employer is going to ferret out your identity online is overblown. Few companies have the time or resources to run an in-depth background check. They'll maybe Google you to make sure there aren't pictures of you in a Nazi uniform plus a standard criminal background check.

    Even security background checks by the government aren't terribly exhaustive. I was interviewed by a couple of FBI agents when my law school roommate was getting his Top Secret clearance, and these guys were pretty terrible at actually getting me to divulge stuff that might have hurt his chances.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Yeah, I think this fear that the average employer is going to ferret out your identity online is overblown. Few companies have the time or resources to run an in-depth background check. They'll maybe Google you to make sure there aren't pictures of you in a Nazi uniform plus a standard criminal background check.
    .

    The "They'll just google you" thing can be troublesome enough on its own. Especially if the stuff they find is negative, but not actually you. If someone with your name is out there, there's no picture, and they come up high on a search...you could very easily get fucked out of a job and never know why.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    I don't think I'm trivializing the issue, I'm just picking the most illustrative examples I can immediately think of.

    The internet still gives you pretty tremendous ability to separate your identity from your statements. If you think being an advocate of gay marriage is harmful to your career prospects, you ought probably to be circumspect when you start attaching your name to those statements.

    1) The extent to which you can do this is shrinking every day. That's another way to resolve this problem though: everyone learns to be tech enough to know how to use proxies and shit to regain anonymity (all utilities are created to do this in a user friendly manner).

    2) That's exactly the chilling effect that I think we need to guard against.

    Maybe I'm not being clear. I don't think you're wrong, I just don't see how it's meaningfully different from previous social circumstances. Previously if I were a person who had political positions that I thought would be detrimental to my job prospects, I'd not air them at work, air them among like-minded folks, not publish them, etc.

    Then along comes the internet and suddenly everyone can publish what they had for breakfast and everything else besides, and it's around (effectively) forever. And for some reason, everybody decides to make use of this wonderful technology apparently completely heedless of social consequences they previously were aware of.

    "Not wanting to say stuff people might get offended by" is certainly a chilling effect on speech. I'm just not convinced that it's something worth getting up in arms about.

    Perhaps in the future forum communities will be more private and will have higher barriers to entry (a la SA) that help people maintain a higher level of relative anonymity. In the meantime, it's not like it's that difficult to keep a forum account like this one separate from the rest of your online identity, assuming your reasonably circumspect in what you talk about.

    (I'm pretty far from convinced that "unlimited effectively anonymous communication" is even a goal we ought to be shooting for, anyway.)

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    As an aside, is the child's play applicant in question somebody who had an account on these forums and told khoo about it, and then he read all the posts? Or did he do a ton of independent research?

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • skyknytskyknyt Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    I worked in an department where my views were contrary to most everyone else, so I tried to avoid political discussions as much as possible. It probably hurt me somewhat, as they definitely bonded more. Wouldn't say it impacted our work life, though.

    Work culture is also about the culture of the company, not just the people. For example, someone who does very well at say IBM or Motorola is use to a very structured, very spelled-out work environment where moving a monitor requires 10 signatures, minimum. We knew this person would not fit well at my company, as it was much more (excessively) relaxed.

    Culture Fit is very, very, very important. I'm not going to deny that.

    But some of my absolute favorite coworkers that fit the culture where I work perfectly are people that, if I was judging them off of their internet postings, would probably have run screaming from. (and in one case would probably have declared unfit to do our jobs) But their time in their positions has convinced me very much that they are excellent at their work.

    (this isn't intended as a refutation of your post, Michael, more as an addendum that we can't tell culture fit from people's internet personas)

    Tycho wrote:
    [skyknyt's writing] is like come kind of code that, when comprehended, unfolds into madness in the mind of the reader.
    PSN: skyknyt, Steam: skyknyt
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    For sure. People can lead different lives on here than in the workplace and even at home.

    The trick is that when hiring, you have to make snap/hasty judgments about the person and don't have the benefit of getting to know them. So if I was hiring for a public-facing position like Child's Play, I'd probably pass on anyone who was a Suicide Girl or similar or had a questionable electronic trail. If it wasn't such a public position and the person was very qualified, I might interview them to see if they can be professional and fit the corporate culture.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Maybe I'm not being clear. I don't think you're wrong, I just don't see how it's meaningfully different from previous social circumstances. Previously if I were a person who had political positions that I thought would be detrimental to my job prospects, I'd not air them at work, air them among like-minded folks, not publish them, etc.

    Because before the internet, no one was likely to know that you were in say your college atheist club or went to a civil rights march or whatever. Even tracking down the fact that you had a letter to the editor or the like published in some local paper would be a difficult enough task that no one would bother. The cost, in time, money, and just plain effort, needed to discover these things limited potential abuses.

    But now it's five minutes on Google to do the same thing.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Maybe I'm not being clear. I don't think you're wrong, I just don't see how it's meaningfully different from previous social circumstances. Previously if I were a person who had political positions that I thought would be detrimental to my job prospects, I'd not air them at work, air them among like-minded folks, not publish them, etc.

    Because before the internet, no one was likely to know that you were in say your college atheist club or went to a civil rights march or whatever. Even tracking down the fact that you had a letter to the editor or the like published in some local paper would be a difficult enough task that no one would bother. The cost, in time, money, and just plain effort, needed to discover these things limited potential abuses.

    But now it's five minutes on Google to do the same thing.

    It's true not talking about the Chuweros are stealing our jerbs at work hasn't changed, joining a private Chuwero Hate Club used to be a private matter but isn't with FB posts, Web pages, e-mails, etc. I'm sure a lot of private stuff still goes on, but it's getting harder to control. Even if you control it, one phototag on Facebook could be enough.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I find it incredibly annoying I can't set it so I have to approve photo tags on Facebook.

    And my Facebook isn't even under my real name.

    sigtk.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    So I just applied for a job at HP, and to do so you have to use their special engine which is hooked up to either Facebook or LinkedIn via Jibe. And when you connect to Jibe, it, by default, grants itself access to any private information you might have entered into, say, Facebook.

    I'm not that familiar with exactly how all that works, but it seems like a backdoor means of granting HP access to your personal life before they have to make a hiring decision.

    I found that... interesting.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So I just applied for a job at HP, and to do so you have to use their special engine which is hooked up to either Facebook or LinkedIn via Jibe. And when you connect to Jibe, it, by default, grants itself access to any private information you might have entered into, say, Facebook.

    I'm not that familiar with exactly how all that works, but it seems like a backdoor means of granting HP access to your personal life before they have to make a hiring decision.

    I found that... interesting.

    That is bizarre.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So I just applied for a job at HP, and to do so you have to use their special engine which is hooked up to either Facebook or LinkedIn via Jibe. And when you connect to Jibe, it, by default, grants itself access to any private information you might have entered into, say, Facebook.

    I'm not that familiar with exactly how all that works, but it seems like a backdoor means of granting HP access to your personal life before they have to make a hiring decision.

    I found that... interesting.

    That is bizarre.

    I wish that would have existed before Fiorina was appointed CEO way back when.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So I just applied for a job at HP, and to do so you have to use their special engine which is hooked up to either Facebook or LinkedIn via Jibe. And when you connect to Jibe, it, by default, grants itself access to any private information you might have entered into, say, Facebook.

    I'm not that familiar with exactly how all that works, but it seems like a backdoor means of granting HP access to your personal life before they have to make a hiring decision.

    I found that... interesting.

    I find that fucked up. Was it clearly stated somewhere(and I don't mean the ToS under point 11.1) or did you find out by chance?

  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think part of what disturbed me about the PATV episode and the discussion about posting history was not only that he read everything she wrote. If you link things to your real name that's bound to happen.

    What I found almost offensive was him saying that she might need to completely erase her presence on the internet and start fresh. What right does an employer have to say what you can and cannot say on the internet during non-business hours?

    I was really surprised when she agreed. I absolutely would have said no.

    For better or worse my past is my past, and even a great job wouldn't make me completely erase it.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Asiina wrote: »
    I think part of what disturbed me about the PATV episode and the discussion about posting history was not only that he read everything she wrote. If you link things to your real name that's bound to happen.

    What I found almost offensive was him saying that she might need to completely erase her presence on the internet and start fresh. What right does an employer have to say what you can and cannot say on the internet during non-business hours?

    I was really surprised when she agreed. I absolutely would have said no.

    For better or worse my past is my past, and even a great job wouldn't make me completely erase it.

    At that point, even if I had said no to the PA job, I probably would have wanted to purge that background anyway, for the sake of any subsequent job interviews I might go on.

    At least Khoo had the courtesy to actually sit down and talk to her about it, instead of just calling her and giving her some vague "thanks for your time, we've decided to go in a different direction" bullshit.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Really?

    If a potential employer came to you and said "Hey, we'll hire you if you delete everything you've ever written on the internet." you'd say yes to that?

    I almost thought that was a trick question when Khoo asked it. I can't believe someone with an active online life would say yes to that question.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Asiina wrote: »
    Really?

    If a potential employer came to you and said "Hey, we'll hire you if you delete everything you've ever written on the internet." you'd say yes to that?

    I almost thought that was a trick question when Khoo asked it. I can't believe someone with an active online life would say yes to that question.

    I occasionally ego-search my real name to see what's associated with it. If I find something that isn't safely mainstream or work-related, I'll see what I can do to get it off of search engine results.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    That's not the same thing at all.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Asiina wrote: »
    That's not the same thing at all.

    Let me put it a different way. I don't have the kind of Internet history she has, because I don't post things like that in public spaces under my real name.

    I had a blog, but I deleted it, largely because I didn't want potential employers finding it. Let's say somebody made a copy of it that I didn't know about, and a potential employer found it and said "I've read every post on your blog," I'd try to get that copy deleted, too.

    If it wasn't something that was easily purgable - say, like my Facebook page - then I'd do whatever I can to lock down the privacy settings to make sure they aren't visible to the public.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
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