Would you disqualify a job seeker who tweeted about sending an x-ray of Kim Kardashian's butt to one of his underlings? What about a candidate whose previous Facebook status chronicled the killing of a pig and goat? Would you be leery of hiring me because I post pictures of myself and my puppy (in matching sweaters, of course) on Facebook?
A recent New York Times article highlighted the trend of social media screening of prospective employees. The company discussed in the Times article, Social Intelligence, summarizes its services on its website:
Social Intelligence Corp solely generates reports based on employer pre-defined criteria, both positive and negative. Negative examples include racist remarks or activities, sexually explicit photos or videos, and illegal activity such as drug use. Positive examples include charitable or volunteer efforts, participation in industry blogs, and external recognition.
If you are an executive or HR Director contemplating social media background screening, take the following into account:
Do you think a social media background check would be valuable in your organization? Does your company already have an internal social media policy that it could extrapolate to job applicants? Should social media activity even be considered in a hiring decision?