How Far is Too Far? Employers Asking for Social Media Logins to Help Make Hiring Decisions

Posted by | October 20, 2012 | Social Media

I just finished reading an article on the Globe & Mail’s site about employers asking interview candidates and returning staff to provide their social media login’s to ensure the individuals were on the up and up. You can read that article here. The author is arguing that this is a violation of privacy – which I whole heartedly agree with. (I definitely recommend giving this article a read!)

How far can employers go when it comes to making candidates jump through hoops? The fact that the job market is still sluggish and there are job seekers galore out there does not give any employer the right to invade someone’s privacy as part of their background check, just because they can. Yet, some employers will still persevere to fish for the extra information they technically should not be.

You, the person being interviewed, have no obligation to provide your username and password of any social media site to an employer. Like this article states, it’s like handing over the keys to your house and giving them a free-for-all into your personal life. An employer is hiring you for your skills and what you can do for them – your personal life is your personal life. If they want to dig-dig-dig online by themselves until they can find info about you, fine. But asking for your login is one step too far, in my opinion.

As the lawyer Lori Andrews states in this article “Volunteering is coercion if you need a job.” If you decide that you are ok to share your information with an employer – that is your choice. But what if you feel pressured into doing it, thinking that you are not going to get the job offer if you stand up for yourself and your right to privacy? Have you been coerced into forking it over?

Personally, I don’t think I would turn it over. I don’t think it’s particularly moral for an employer to ask that. That request is a reflection on the morals of the company and the people working there. Ask yourself – is that really a place you want to work?

What do you think about employers asking for this information? Would you do it?

~ Melissa Macfarlane is a Career Development Professional with Northern Lights Canada.

10990 total views, 1 today

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *