I have recently been asked to comment on an article for the Liverpool Daily Post which attempts to look at how employers use the web to locate ‘additional’ information about prospective employees. The article entitled “Should you worry about your net worth?” has already been published online and it makes interesting reading.
According to the article “one in five employers now finds information about candidates from the internet” and “over half of who say it will influence their final decision”. It references sites such as MySpace as easy targets for employers to search for and drill down on the more ‘informal’ information about prospective employees.
Whilst I am not surprised that companies are using the web in this way it does leave me thinking about the advice we should be giving to our staff and students. I do encourage the use of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook and don’t think we can or should be prescriptive about how people should use these but it is worth highlighting this trend from employers and reminding people that should they wish to keep a distinct divide between their personal and private persona – they should ensure this is reflected online.
As Craig Sweeney comments in the article: “The thing to remember is what might make your friends giggle today could come back and haunt you a couple of years down the line when you’re trying to land your dream job.”