We all know that our online footprint is important. What you tweet from the comfort of your bedroom can potentially be viewed from every bedroom in the world. It has not been uncommon in the last few years to hear of people being sacked from their jobs, or even arrested due to content they have posted on social media platforms. But imagine being asked for your twitter or facebook password by potential employers. Is that not a step to far?
Rising unemployment and redundancies have meant that employers can afford to be more picky about who they recruit. Researching personal lives through social media can be one way of differentiating between a group of level pegging candidates. Googling people, looking at their tweets, even adding them on facebook are not, relatively speaking, new ways of carrying out such research. But to ask for social media passwords crosses the ethical line and compromises privacy to an unacceptable degree.
Applying for jobs is something we all have to do, but it can also be increase pressure on people in increasingly insecure times. First time applicants desperate to land their first job in a sea of people with years of experience. Experienced professionals made redundant, worrying about their mortgage and children’s university fees. Are these type of applicants going to feel pressured to hand over passwords in order to secure an income? I think that’s more than likely.
Social media platforms are not the same. People expect their LinkdIn profile to be read. People expect to have their twitter timeline examined. But should we be expected to allow potential employers the opportunity to look at our political affiliations, or that embarrassing album from your best mates hen night?
I think that’s a step to far.