Hiring Employees

Before You Employ Someone Check Out Their Facebook Profile

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

The interviewee may seem well presented and put themselves across in a way that appeals to you. But is that just their professional persona you're being shown? What if you could be a fly on the wall when that same person is on personal time? Would you still want to employ them, do you think?

Miss X seemed like a nice enough girl when you interviewed her, so did Mr A. Both are well qualified and good candidates for the job when you take them at face value.

But what face were you being shown in the interview? Obviously it was both applicants' best faces, their professional personas. Naturally, the interviewee wants to impress the interviewer so they'll try to keep their demons hidden.

Fair enough. You might think that what a prospective employee gets up to outside of the workplace is none of your business. And to an extent that's true. However, there are certain personality types that you will want to avoid taking into the fold. But how can you know enough about what someone is really like when you've only a C.V. some references and maybe 45 minutes of one to one time with them to go on?

Facebook. Perhaps it's not called Facebook for nothing! In this instance it can act as just that, a book which shows you (with illustrations) the face your job applicants didn't show you.

So what should you look for when you're checking out a job applicant?

There are a number of alarm signals to look out for when you are considering employing someone. And it's surprising how free with self-sabotaging information some people can be, especially when they are online.

  • If Miss X's status updates are often about how horrible her current job is, or how stupid or annoying her boss/colleagues are then be alarmed. She's a dissatisfied type of person. The job and the boss and the colleagues may be perfectly all right but is she?
  • Mr A boasts online that he'll take his girlfriend out for dinner (on company expenses) let him stay with that company. Don't consider employing him as part of yours, he could cast you a small fortune.
  • If Miss X and/or Mr A often use a status that reads like the following examples then be warned that they are unlikely to be dedicated or productive workers.
  • I should be working but I thought I can't resist Facebook.
  • My boss would kill me if he knew I was messing about here on company time.
  • Am at work but have spent most of the afternoon shopping online.
  • I've been playing online Scrabble.

If either Miss X or Mr A are the sort of people who display pictures of themselves drunk and disorderly or are likely to use endless expletives in their online posts then you need to think long and hard before you employ them. While the bawdiest of people might be good at their job do you really want your company image associates with that sort of approach?

Sure people have their private lives; in general they really should keep them private. Not doing so could jeopardize their career opportunities, if only they knew it.

Look for job candidates who present themselves in a respectable manner at all times, both on duty and off.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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