The Investigators

Apr 11, 2012 1:00 AM

Some employers using social media to investigate job applicants

TUCSON - Don't look now, but prospective employers are probably looking at your Facebook page. More and more companies are sifting through social media sites, looking for clues and information before they'll hire you.

In fact, some are even asking for Facebook user names and passwords to check you out. So it's time to put your best face forward.

Rebecca Lopez is preparing to graduate from the UA this spring. She's already searching for that first job. Rebecca's Facebook page is a piece of that puzzle.

Rebecca told us, "people are almost making it, like, another resume for themselves."

Rebecca said most college seniors are well aware that they have to come across as mature, yet well-rounded on their social media sites.

"If an employer were to look me up on Facebook and say 'I want to check this girl out a little bit more,' they can see that I'm a serious person but I don't only have that serious side, I do like to have fun and hang out with my friends"

But human resource professionals say companies have to be careful sifting through social media so as not to misconstrue what they find. And to make sure they give equal weight to every candidate's information.

Chris Lawson of the Eli Daniel Group in Dallas said, "it actually opens up, unfortunately, a lot of opportunity for discrimination that otherwise wouldn't be, based on their resume and their skill set that would keep them from the interview."

He said companies may have to develop written policies on how they use social media in their interview process, just to keep that process fair and legal.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators received this statement from Facebook:

"We don't think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don't think it's [the] right the thing to do. While we do not have any immediate plans to take legal action against any specific employers, we look forward to engaging with policy makers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users."

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