Should Recruiters Check you out on Facebook?

And should you include a link to your Facebook profile page on your professional website? I’ve been struggling with this idea for quite some time; whether or not I should include a Facebook link under the “contact me” page in my professional website: www.rubahashem.net. I’ve asked several of my colleagues and classmates whether recruiters will find value (or not) by having access to my Facebook profile (which is public), and apparently the consensus has been NOT to do so, given that my Facebook profile has transformed over the past 9 months from a social page to converse with friends, to a political platform where I am constantly exposing the Syria regime and supporting the Syrian Revolution which broke out in March earlier this year.

So why not ask recruiters what they think? Answers vary (and with good reason), based on a poll that was driven by Focus.com; which according to Wikipedia is a social a business focused social networking platform and source of technology expertise comprising over 850,000 Members and 5,000 Business Experts.

In September of 2011, Brian Harrison asked via poll on Focus: “Recruiters should look at candidates’ Facebook profiles when? Agree or Disagree?” The answers gave me a good idea of what I should do, and the answers provided a great insight into how recruiters go about making this decision. Here is a list of the latest 5 answers:

  1. No, using Facebook or other social media sources to give insight into a potential candidate can serve no practical purpose. A person’s social like is just that, “social”, it is not going to reveal subjective job criteria.
  2. Agree. At least they [recruiters] should try. If the candidate can’t figure out how to hide their own information on Facebook, I’d have no faith that they would be able to keep my company’s private information secure and private.
  3. If asked in an interview to grant access to my FB profile, I would. However, should people be expected to? If your job candidate leaves you with enough mystery that you feel you need to see their Facebook profile before hiring, maybe you should not be considering this candidate?
  4. I can’t believe the assumptions people are willing to make about a candidate based on the content of their FB pages or of they even offer access to the information. It would seem that a candidate might have great credentials and based on a comment someone makes on FB, a political position, an indiscrete photo from college, a message left on someone’s wall, etc. that candidate could be jettisoned. I find that pretty short-sighed.  
  5. Slippery slope, my friends. Slippery slope. If you find enough on that candidate’s Facebook wall to change your mind about their fit for the job, then you better.

And the list goes on… 56 answers were posted in reply to this intriguing question, you can check them out here.

Here is my take on the subject, while Linked-In is there for recruiters to preview a person’s “professional” experience and network, I believe there are certain roles such as management roles, or other roles which rely heavily on team work or diversity, that may warrant or validate why a recruiter might resort to Facebook to learn more about the candidate’s personality and tolerance. Tough luck for me because having a public profile which is open to controversial debate is more important to me than landing a job, therefore, I will include a link to my Facebook profile on my website. Perhaps I am better off not to work for an employer who is not sensitive to the Syrian cause; something I am super passionate about!

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