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

245

Posts

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered 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.

    Well, it's pretty much impossible to 'delete' stuff anyway, but let's asume it is to some degree.

    If it's a position for a children's charity, then no, I don't see a problem with that request. Aside from general media, there are dis-barred PoS who love to latch onto anything they can to further their agendas. "Sure an unnamed catholic school donated a $1,000 in toys to a hospital, but they employ a racist! Look at this post from 2006 where she said she doesn't eat fried chicken!" A little ridiculous, but not by much compared to the stupidity out there.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse 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.

    Eh.

    They aren't asking the guy who sweeps the floors to erase himself from the internet.

    They are asking the primary point of contact and press coverage for an organization, whose only product is good will, to make sure that she will have nothing to hinder the organization maintaining good will.

    I would expect this to become more common place for jobs that have any significant PR duties. Along with being personable, having a clean online slate is going to be part of the job qualifications.

  • poshnialloposhniallo 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.

    Eh.

    They aren't asking the guy who sweeps the floors to erase himself from the internet.

    They are asking the primary point of contact and press coverage for an organization, whose only product is good will, to make sure that she will have nothing to hinder the organization maintaining good will.

    I would expect this to become more common place for jobs that have any significant PR duties. Along with being personable, having a clean online slate is going to be part of the job qualifications.

    What's a 'clean online slate'? Not having been in amateur porn? Or not having ever expressed political views of any kind? Or not having mentioned that you're gay?

    This is a retrograde step - 100 years ago employees had to struggle to have a private life away from a company and there was no concept of the rights of an employee to do or say things outside work that their employer wouldn't approve of.

    For me, this would have been a warning sign that might have made me turn down the job. I'm sure Khoo etc are lovely people, but it would make me worry about their ideas on work/life boundaries. Even if nice people are overstepping boundaries for nice reasons, it's still eroding a right to privacy.

    I hope to god this kind of practice doesn't spread outside the US.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited March 2011
    I do understand how some jobs one would want filled by someone who isn't smearable and made a target of easily.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    I do understand how some jobs one would want filled by someone who isn't smearable and made a target of easily.

    There are two ways you can make someone difficult to smear: one is by trying to control every aspect of how they appear to others, the other is by supporting them and refuting any attempts to smear them.

    You can see analogies to this in bad parenting and many other parts of life, and the second is always the more healthy choice.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited March 2011
    PR doesn't always work that way... who knows what kind of issues Childs Play has run into. I'm sure there is at least one angry ex-lawyer out there who would love to show the world how sick it is.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    PR doesn't always work that way... who knows what kind of issues Childs Play has run into. I'm sure there is at least one angry ex-lawyer out there who would love to show the world how sick it is.

    No that's how it works.

    If they can't find anything, they will just make something up.

    See: Acorn, NPR, etc.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • LacroixLacroix Registered User
    edited March 2011
    I'm curious about this, as I have been thinking for some time about purging my account and starting fresh in many areas of my online persona.

    When you say 'don't have things traceable to your real name' how far do you actually mean? Do you mean, a profile name that is not yor own is sufficient, or do you mean that it is appropriate to sign up to websites and hotmail etc using a fake name?

    Similarly, I havent used Facebook in ages, so the info is not up to date, but how can I limit the capacity for employers to view this information?

    In regards to PA in particular, is there a 'delete all' button that will simply delete all my posts, or would I have to do this individually?

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lacroix wrote: »
    I'm curious about this, as I have been thinking for some time about purging my account and starting fresh in many areas of my online persona.

    [1]When you say 'don't have things traceable to your real name' how far do you actually mean? Do you mean, a profile name that is not yor own is sufficient, or do you mean that it is appropriate to sign up to websites and hotmail etc using a fake name?

    [2]Similarly, I havent used Facebook in ages, so the info is not up to date, but how can I limit the capacity for employers to view this information?

    [3]In regards to PA in particular, is there a 'delete all' button that will simply delete all my posts, or would I have to do this individually?

    1. Yes, usernames that are not in any way associated to your actual name are best. Signing up for webmail, etc, with fake names/info? The only time I don't do this is if I'm using a semi-official channel where my professional persona is relevant, or arenas where I explicitly want employers to be aware of my conduct.

    2. I don't have the facebook, but I hear that setting your profile to private, and not friending people you don't know, is sufficient.

    3. I don't believe you can manually delete a post after a certain time, or after someone else has posted. As for admin assistance, I don't know what the official forum policy on shame retention is. You'd probably need a really compelling reason.

    Automata-Sg.png
  • Orochi_RockmanOrochi_Rockman __BANNED USERS
    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.

    Wait, so does this mean you can't apply for a job there unless you have an account at Facebook or LinkedIn? I have never had or will I ever have an account on any social networking site, I think those places are just more trouble than they're worth.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    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.

    Don't be silly, CEOs are totally exempt from personal accountability.

    Which is part of the reason I'm reasonably gung-ho about my privacy and virulently opposed to potential employers who want to know what I do in my off hours. You want my facebook login? I want to pick up my CV and walk out of the interview. Find some other sucker with no boundaries to be your bitch.

    tmsig.jpg
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I'm told that prospective employers in the US actually now view people with no Facebook page as suspiciously anti-social misanthropes.

    My personal response to the implied question would be: That's quite correct.

  • LoveIsUnityLoveIsUnity Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    V1m wrote: »
    I'm told that prospective employers in the US actually now view people with no Facebook page as suspiciously anti-social misanthropes.

    My personal response to the implied question would be: That's quite correct.

    A lot of people don't have Facebook accounts because of our jobs. I don't want a bunch of 18 year olds who took me for Comp 101 knowing what I do in my free time.

    sig.gif
  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I'd go so far as to say it ought to be a misdemeanor to actively snoop on private lives for the purpose of employment related decisions. People shouldn't be economically punished for being gay, liking the Braves, thinking marginal income taxes should be increased, or anything else that is on their Facebook and does not directly affect their responsibilities. The United States has a huge problem with work / life balance, with millions of people working under conditions that would be outright illegal in Europe. And the idea that an employer can veto personal activities is one part of that problem, and one that should be addressed now, before it reaches critical levels.

    An employee has a responsibility to do their job well during official work hours, and not actively sabotage their employer in off hours (i.e. I cannot be a Best Buy employee and run boycottbestbuy.com at the same time. There would be a reasonable person standard attached to this, as "Yeah, Product X has seen a lot of returns," is a legitimate statement to make), but if I want to drink irresponsibly on Friday and show up sober as a judge on Monday, that's my right*.

    * Well, future me. I explicitly volunteered to be under stricter standards that are not appropriate for the general public.

  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I wonder if very selective graduate programs / schools Google their applicants...

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    I wonder if very selective graduate programs / schools Google their applicants...

    I'm certain they do.

    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.
  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Time to get cracking on a series of Facebook posts chronicling the stunted foreign direct investment in Pakistan due to political instability!

    Also: Like'ing every AcademicEarth.org video.

  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    I wonder if very selective graduate programs / schools Google their applicants...

    I'm certain they do.

    It would be profoundly foolish to assume anything else.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    Time to get cracking on a series of Facebook posts chronicling the stunted foreign direct investment in Pakistan due to political instability!

    Also: Like'ing every AcademicEarth.org video.

    Honestly, I considered restarting my blog just so it would be one of the top hits for my name when I reapply to grad school.

    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.
  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    Great, you try. And the person who posted your blog refuses. Then what?

    Or your ex posts to his/her blog with all kinds of embarrassing and slanted crap that isn't quite defamation, but certainly doesn't make you look good. What are you going to do?

    Or a bunch of assholes posting about how they think you should be raped, how you're a slut, how ugly you are, etcetera could have their posts appear high up in your Google ranking.

    poshniallo is right; we're moving back to the time when employers felt they had a right to completely dictate how their employees should live, and it was perfectly okay to, for example, fire an unmarried woman for turning up pregnant, or require your employees to attend a church.

    Three lines of plaintext:
    obsolete signature form
    replaced by JPEGs.
  • Orochi_RockmanOrochi_Rockman __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2011
    The men in the office where I work aren't allowed to have beards or mustaches.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The men in the office where I work aren't allowed to have beards or mustaches.
    That's just a dress code/personal appearance rule. They're not interfering with your personal life.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    The men in the office where I work aren't allowed to have beards or mustaches.
    That's just a dress code/personal appearance rule. They're not interfering with your personal life.

    Flibble?

    Because you can just magically grow a beard on the weekends?

    Flibble?

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • Orochi_RockmanOrochi_Rockman __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2011
    Maybe it just feels a little ridiculous to me because the reason given is "Men with facial hair are stupid hippies."

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    The men in the office where I work aren't allowed to have beards or mustaches.
    That's just a dress code/personal appearance rule. They're not interfering with your personal life.

    Flibble?

    Because you can just magically grow a beard on the weekends?
    Well, no. But, the facial hair thing deals with your status at work. It's like requiring you to wear a tie. If the employer had rules about what you could and couldn't wear on weekends, that would be intrusive.

    What you do outside of work can be a legit reason to fire you or not hire you. My wife works for a pharma company that does medical testing on animals. If they found out from her blog that she was a member of PETA, it would be a perfectly reasonable for them to fire her.

    I think most employers don't really have the time or inclination to do a deep background check on employees. HR will likely do a Google search on you to make sure there isn't something really weird out there, but unless your internet presence is really unusual, that'll probably be the extent of it.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • DeebaserDeebaser At the corporate garage sale This is cheap and plentifulRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I'd go so far as to say it ought to be a misdemeanor to actively snoop on private lives for the purpose of employment related decisions. People shouldn't be economically punished for being gay, liking the Braves, thinking marginal income taxes should be increased, or anything else that is on their Facebook and does not directly affect their responsibilities. The United States has a huge problem with work / life balance, with millions of people working under conditions that would be outright illegal in Europe. And the idea that an employer can veto personal activities is one part of that problem, and one that should be addressed now, before it reaches critical levels.

    An employee has a responsibility to do their job well during official work hours, and not actively sabotage their employer in off hours (i.e. I cannot be a Best Buy employee and run boycottbestbuy.com at the same time. There would be a reasonable person standard attached to this, as "Yeah, Product X has seen a lot of returns," is a legitimate statement to make), but if I want to drink irresponsibly on Friday and show up sober as a judge on Monday, that's my right*.

    I disagree. Candidates lie. They lie right to your face. We already acknowledge this as most white collar jobs require a background check as a matter of course. The agency that is performing the background check is digging through your personal life and public records. As a pre-employment tool, a quick glance at someone's facebook can efficiently screen out a lot of crazy. This is a good thing.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    The men in the office where I work aren't allowed to have beards or mustaches.
    That's just a dress code/personal appearance rule. They're not interfering with your personal life.
    He works in Afghanistan. :P

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
    Thomas-Vail.png
  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I don't think any amount of internet searching based on my real name would turn anything up. I've been active on the internet since I was 12 and I'm now 28, but I've never posted under name real name, not because of employers, but mainly because I am anti-social and also don't care for my parents or relatives being about to search my name and see everything I've posted on the PA forums for the past 8 years or whatever. It's not something I've actively hidden. I have yahoo email addresses with my real name attached and even a part of the email address, there isn't anything they are going to find from that.

    There is only one thing that I find mildly embarrassing and that's related to a nintendo account I used my real name with and I entered a contest to win a free game or some such and for whatever reason my entry is readable online still some 6 years later and its just a descriptive little paragraph and I typically don't let other read my writing out of worry it'll be laughed at and I don't remember the email address used as a username let alone the password and haven't bother trying to contact anyone at the site. Other than that you get whitepages entries tied to my name letting you know where I lived previously.
    I don't have a facebook account, never have, had a myspace but deleted it since I never used it, even when it was popular.

    I've always sort of accepted that if you post a blog under your real name on the internet you better be prepared for everyone you know or will know to someday run across it and then judge you based on what they read. This doesn't bother me, it's just something I've always understood.

    NEWrockzomb80.jpg
  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    What you do outside of work can be a legit reason to fire you or not hire you.

    Sure. The problem is when what you do outside of work is only tangentially, if at all, related to your work, and to what degree it's appropriate for an employer to search for that information. Particularly given the difficulty of verifying that information. Would it be fair of your wife's employer to fire her because some crazy ex-boyfriend posted "I bet she's a PETA member" on his blog?

    Three lines of plaintext:
    obsolete signature form
    replaced by JPEGs.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Well, no. But, the facial hair thing deals with your status at work. It's like requiring you to wear a tie. If the employer had rules about what you could and couldn't wear on weekends, that would be intrusive.

    Facial hair is vaguely-sorta associated with status at work. But so is your hair. And whether or not you wear glasses. And whether or not you have a clear complexion. And how much you weigh. All these things can affect how you're received by your associates, especially if you communicate with others outside your company as part of your job.

    Does that mean it's reasonable to force compliance on all those fronts? Fuck no. To a point, sure. It's reasonable to keep people from sporting dreads and telling them to comb their damned hair every now and then, but it would be unreasonable to demand that every man get a buzz cut. Similarly, I think it's reasonable to ask that people not show up with ZZ Top beards, but no reasonable person is actually turned off by a neatly trimmed beard or mustache, and barring such is retarded.

    These things have nothing to do with making you wear a tie or slacks because those are things you can change the second you get off work. Unless you have the supernatural ability to sprout an inch of facial hair on command, the same doesn't apply to beard growth or hair style.
    What you do outside of work can be a legit reason to fire you or not hire you. My wife works for a pharma company that does medical testing on animals. If they found out from her blog that she was a member of PETA, it would be a perfectly reasonable for them to fire her.

    It's certainly something that can get you fired, and maybe it's even something that's legal, but that doesn't make it legit. If your wife shows up to work each day and does her job as required, then it shouldn't matter if she's the head of PETA, because it pretty clearly isn't affecting her work.

    A person should not be fired for anything he or she does in his or her personal life unless it directly affects his ability to perform his job. I would include recreational drug use here, too. (With the caveat that there are plenty of drugs that are addictive enough, or long-lasting enough, that even using them on weekends can absolutely affect your ability to perform your job come Monday. If it turns out you're a crack head, that's almost inevitably going to catch up with your job performance. Not so much if you like to smoke weed on the weekends.)

    [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!"
  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Deebaser wrote: »
    I'd go so far as to say it ought to be a misdemeanor to actively snoop on private lives for the purpose of employment related decisions. People shouldn't be economically punished for being gay, liking the Braves, thinking marginal income taxes should be increased, or anything else that is on their Facebook and does not directly affect their responsibilities. The United States has a huge problem with work / life balance, with millions of people working under conditions that would be outright illegal in Europe. And the idea that an employer can veto personal activities is one part of that problem, and one that should be addressed now, before it reaches critical levels.

    An employee has a responsibility to do their job well during official work hours, and not actively sabotage their employer in off hours (i.e. I cannot be a Best Buy employee and run boycottbestbuy.com at the same time. There would be a reasonable person standard attached to this, as "Yeah, Product X has seen a lot of returns," is a legitimate statement to make), but if I want to drink irresponsibly on Friday and show up sober as a judge on Monday, that's my right*.

    I disagree. Candidates lie. They lie right to your face. We already acknowledge this as most white collar jobs require a background check as a matter of course. The agency that is performing the background check is digging through your personal life and public records. As a pre-employment tool, a quick glance at someone's facebook can efficiently screen out a lot of crazy. This is a good thing.

    And background checks should be limited a bit as well to criminal sanctions and listed references. Credit checks, for example, are unreasonably intrusive, not related to most jobs' responsibilities, and create a downward spiral effect (the best way to make good on debts is, unsurprisingly, gainful employment). I think certain exceptions apply, but they should need explicit prior approval from regulators.

    This is doubly true as right now it is beyond trivial to fire employees and our social safety net is so amazingly piss poor in the US. Given the choice between taking away easily abusable tools and making companies suffer through rare situations of having to fire someone because they could not Facebook them, the choice is obvious.
    mythago wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    What you do outside of work can be a legit reason to fire you or not hire you.

    Sure. The problem is when what you do outside of work is only tangentially, if at all, related to your work, and to what degree it's appropriate for an employer to search for that information. Particularly given the difficulty of verifying that information. Would it be fair of your wife's employer to fire her because some crazy ex-boyfriend posted "I bet she's a PETA member" on his blog?

    Or for that matter, a Facebook from exactly the same town with the same name that is a totally different person. Running a search with the last name of 'Smith' will crash many large databases. And when you tack on a common name like "Jake" or "John" it's still ridiculously common.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    These things have nothing to do with making you wear a tie or slacks because those are things you can change the second you get off work. Unless you have the supernatural ability to sprout an inch of facial hair on command, the same doesn't apply to beard growth or hair style.

    215497326_sk9Ln-L-2.jpg

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2011
    Gabe looks surprisingly like I do when I try to grow a beard.

    I get some decent growth for about the first day, and then it just sort of stops. Me after two days without shaving looks roughly the same as me after six weeks of not shaving.

    [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!"
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's certainly something that can get you fired, and maybe it's even something that's legal, but that doesn't make it legit. If your wife shows up to work each day and does her job as required, then it shouldn't matter if she's the head of PETA, because it pretty clearly isn't affecting her work.
    For a company that does some pretty unpleasant things to animals for the sake of drug safety, any connection to PETA makes you a security risk. In that case, your personal activities do impact your ability to do your job.

    What about security clearances for government work? You can be disqualified for a whole host of things like bad credit history and dating too many foreigners. If you accept that your personal life can disqualify you for a government job, then that should apply to the private sector, where there are a lot less legal protections when it comes to firing and hiring.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • rizriz Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Maybe it just feels a little ridiculous to me because the reason given is "Men with facial hair are stupid hippies."

    Man, 90% of the dudes in my office would be out of a job.

    Organichu wrote:
    she's some sort of malevolent creature who bores through this world into the next using hatred and suffering as her fuel
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    riz wrote: »
    Maybe it just feels a little ridiculous to me because the reason given is "Men with facial hair are stupid hippies."

    Man, 90% of the dudes in my office would be out of a job.

    To be fair, you do work at greenpeace.

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • DeebaserDeebaser At the corporate garage sale This is cheap and plentifulRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Deebaser wrote: »
    I'd go so far as to say it ought to be a misdemeanor to actively snoop on private lives for the purpose of employment related decisions. People shouldn't be economically punished for being gay, liking the Braves, thinking marginal income taxes should be increased, or anything else that is on their Facebook and does not directly affect their responsibilities. The United States has a huge problem with work / life balance, with millions of people working under conditions that would be outright illegal in Europe. And the idea that an employer can veto personal activities is one part of that problem, and one that should be addressed now, before it reaches critical levels.

    An employee has a responsibility to do their job well during official work hours, and not actively sabotage their employer in off hours (i.e. I cannot be a Best Buy employee and run boycottbestbuy.com at the same time. There would be a reasonable person standard attached to this, as "Yeah, Product X has seen a lot of returns," is a legitimate statement to make), but if I want to drink irresponsibly on Friday and show up sober as a judge on Monday, that's my right*.

    I disagree. Candidates lie. They lie right to your face. We already acknowledge this as most white collar jobs require a background check as a matter of course. The agency that is performing the background check is digging through your personal life and public records. As a pre-employment tool, a quick glance at someone's facebook can efficiently screen out a lot of crazy. This is a good thing.

    And background checks should be limited a bit as well to criminal sanctions and listed references. Credit checks, for example, are unreasonably intrusive, not related to most jobs' responsibilities, and create a downward spiral effect (the best way to make good on debts is, unsurprisingly, gainful employment). I think certain exceptions apply, but they should need explicit prior approval from regulators.

    This is doubly true as right now it is beyond trivial to fire employees and our social safety net is so amazingly piss poor in the US. Given the choice between taking away easily abusable tools and making companies suffer through rare situations of having to fire someone because they could not Facebook them, the choice is obvious.

    I still respectfully disagree. A background check that only focuses on criminal records and listed references will tell me practically nothing about the candidate and largely be a waste of time. It may clue you in that Applicant X is a registered sex offender, but that's pretty much it.

    For a lot of companies and a lot of positions you find yourself with a stack of nearly identical resumes and qualifications. Cover letters are often a template either chockful of buzzwords or cribbed directly from the listing. As for interviews, some people are just ill at ease talking to strangers, especially when their potential livelihood is on the table.

    Background checks are just a tool. Sure there are some hiring managers that refuse to hire anyone with a credit score under 700 even though the position they're hiring for is one with little responsibility. These managers are unreasonable imo and using the tool poorly.

    The facebook thing is totally voluntary and up to the organization, but in general it would be pretty helpful to have to sort through the herd.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited April 2011
    riz wrote: »
    Maybe it just feels a little ridiculous to me because the reason given is "Men with facial hair are stupid hippies."

    Man, 90% of the dudes in my office would be out of a job.

    I've recently grown a decent handlebar mustache. We aren't up to spectacular yet, but we are well on our way. At least once a week a child will ask me at work if my moustache is real or not. My moustache and I have since become a single entity. We speak as one.

    Anyway, a friend of mine at work told me a story as it relates to this.
    A good buddy of mine, a magician, auditioned for Disney World some years ago. He had a beautiful and full coal black handlebar mustache that he'd been growing for some time. His audition went great, they offered him a job on the spot and said, "There's just one thing, we'll need you to shave your mustache."
    "But its part of my act."
    "If we want you to have facial hair then we'll give you facial hair. No one at Disney is allowed to wear facial hair"
    "What about Walt?"
    Then, without missing a beat, "You'll notice Mr. Disney no longer works here"

    Disney has also told my friend to dye her hair since she has a blonde streak in brunette hair. She didn't have it when they hired her of course, but some months later there it was. Turns out she has a mole/birthmark on her scalp that causes her hair to grow in light blonde and she had let it grow out. Disney was, on this instance, forced to drop the issue.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    I'd go so far as to say it ought to be a misdemeanor to actively snoop on private lives for the purpose of employment related decisions. People shouldn't be economically punished for being gay, liking the Braves, thinking marginal income taxes should be increased, or anything else that is on their Facebook and does not directly affect their responsibilities. The United States has a huge problem with work / life balance, with millions of people working under conditions that would be outright illegal in Europe. And the idea that an employer can veto personal activities is one part of that problem, and one that should be addressed now, before it reaches critical levels.

    An employee has a responsibility to do their job well during official work hours, and not actively sabotage their employer in off hours (i.e. I cannot be a Best Buy employee and run boycottbestbuy.com at the same time. There would be a reasonable person standard attached to this, as "Yeah, Product X has seen a lot of returns," is a legitimate statement to make), but if I want to drink irresponsibly on Friday and show up sober as a judge on Monday, that's my right*.

    I disagree. Candidates lie. They lie right to your face. We already acknowledge this as most white collar jobs require a background check as a matter of course. The agency that is performing the background check is digging through your personal life and public records. As a pre-employment tool, a quick glance at someone's facebook can efficiently screen out a lot of crazy. This is a good thing.

    And background checks should be limited a bit as well to criminal sanctions and listed references. Credit checks, for example, are unreasonably intrusive, not related to most jobs' responsibilities, and create a downward spiral effect (the best way to make good on debts is, unsurprisingly, gainful employment). I think certain exceptions apply, but they should need explicit prior approval from regulators.

    This is doubly true as right now it is beyond trivial to fire employees and our social safety net is so amazingly piss poor in the US. Given the choice between taking away easily abusable tools and making companies suffer through rare situations of having to fire someone because they could not Facebook them, the choice is obvious.

    I still respectfully disagree. A background check that only focuses on criminal records and listed references will tell me practically nothing about the candidate and largely be a waste of time. It may clue you in that Applicant X is a registered sex offender, but that's pretty much it.

    For a lot of companies and a lot of positions you find yourself with a stack of nearly identical resumes and qualifications. Cover letters are often a template either chockful of buzzwords or cribbed directly from the listing. As for interviews, some people are just ill at ease talking to strangers, especially when their potential livelihood is on the table.

    Background checks are just a tool. Sure there are some hiring managers that refuse to hire anyone with a credit score under 700 even though the position they're hiring for is one with little responsibility. These managers are unreasonable imo and using the tool poorly.

    The facebook thing is totally voluntary and up to the organization, but in general it would be pretty helpful to have to sort through the herd.

    Facebook checks, background checks, credit checks etc are either moral or immoral based on their own merits.

    If your hiring practises are such that you find it hard to differentiate between employees, that isn't an excuse to do things which are wrong.

    That's a reason to get different hiring practises.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    What about security clearances for government work? You can be disqualified for a whole host of things like bad credit history and dating too many foreigners. If you accept that your personal life can disqualify you for a government job, then that should apply to the private sector, where there are a lot less legal protections when it comes to firing and hiring.

    Varies from case to case, but a lot of those things are pretty retarded, too. Like bad credit history. Or having done drugs once when you were a teenager. Or dating someone with a funny sounding name at some point.

    The thing is that most aspects of your personal life that can get you dis-considered for a job have nothing to do with your actual job, or at least not in a way that can be definitively ascertained from the ding in question. Unless you're actually going to be a super-spy and there's legitimate consideration that you might be a plant seeking to subvert the system from within, most of these alleged wrong-doings are completely benign.

    Your wife is in PETA? And yet she's been doing her job for the last two years without a word of complaint? Then the rationale for getting her fired is "this person has been torturing animals for the last two years, in defiance of her ethics, so that she can rise to a prominent position in the company and take it all down from within." Which makes sense if your wife works in a Tom Clancy novel, but otherwise not so much.

    There is a small number of things that I can see carrying over from your personal life to your work life. I've mentioned a couple of them. But the vast, vast majority of things? Completely irrelevant, and stupid as hell to fire someone (or not hire them) over.

    [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!"
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