You certainly can’t escape Twitter or Facebook these days — they always seem to be in the news, but have you seen them mentioned in job postings? Evidently this was the case in September if you were applying for Best Buy’s Senior Manager in emerging media marketing.
Listed as one of the job’s “preferred requirements” is that applicants have 250 followers on Twitter. So then what happened? People started blogging about it- the bad and the good – and Best Buy was there, monitoring the blogosphere debates. The outcome? Best Buy temporarily removed the listing asking for the public’s assistance in re-doing the job posting. Why? Not sure of all the reasons, but as one user pointed out, that “most average people can rack up 250 followers simply by existing”… I’ve found this to be so true!
My next example kind of touches on my blog here last week! In San Francisco recently there was a job for a sales associate listed on Craigslist. Job applicants were asked to send a link to their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles so that the company can “get a feeling for who you are and why you would be a good match for this position”. Wow!! This seems like their asking for TROUBLE (from an HR standpoint). Ever dealt with the EEOC in regards to your hiring practices? The photos alone on these pages would certainly indicate sex, race, and age (perhaps even a physical disability!). Not to mention anything else that gets posted to your Facebook page, or comments that friends/family might leave – these things could all realistically cost you the job.
Besides requiring a certain internet following on Twitter, and the fact that you as an applicant must allow access to your Facebook page, I’m sure that many of us are already aware of the many of discussions and debates about employers using social media for background checks. This seems as it is another way to do just that (you as the employer are being given access to an account which you might not have ordinarily been privy to). This all seems easily construed as discriminatory hiring practices. I wonder how long it will be before we hear about the first court case!