In every industry, employers use diverse methods to select the rightcandidates to fill the vacant positions. The different employers setdiverse thresholds for the available positions, and this makes themvery competitive. To arrive at the best candidate, the panelists usevarious tools like interview and reviewing of resumes. The motive isto select the best candidates. There has been a current trend adoptedby some employers of asking for the applicants` Facebook passwordsand viewing their profiles and timelines. Employees should not besubject to such selection procedures for several reasons.
First, the purpose of a password is to restrict the public fromviewing personal information. Therefore, when looking for a job, theapplicants may be forced to give up their passwords in the hope ofsecuring a position. Failure to do so would automatically reducetheir chances as opposed to those who freely give the passwords. IfFacebook pages were meant for everyone, them they will not requirepasswords (Slovensky and William 57). On the same note, the peopleone befriends in Facebook come from diverse backgrounds, and theyhave different behaviors. Therefore, an individual relates to them indifferent ways. An effort to capture one`s behavior using theFacebook timeline interferes with his/her privacy of communicationwith their friends.
Secondly, in the Facebook profile, people indicate their basicinformation that they would not wish it to be applicable away fromthe Facebook arena (Slovensky and William 59). For example detailsabout sex, relationship, family, close friends, ethnicity amongothers. Some employers might use this information to discriminateapplicants on the grounds of their gender, sexual orientation orrace. Therefore, since applicants may not have prior information thattheir Facebook pages will be viewed, they might feel threatened anddistracted from the main selection process because they are not surewhat information will be used against their qualification (Slovenskyand William 61).
Further, the qualifications set for a job do not indicate arequirement for applicants to give up their passwords. Therefore,they may be caught unawares. Most of the time, the information postedon Facebook is meant for the individual ad his close circle offriends. Any other person accessing the information becomes anintruder. The account holders may belong to secret or closed groups.Upon interview and a consequent missing the position they had appliedfor, they may become suspicious of discrimination based on the groupsthey subscribe (Slovensky and William 61). The employer may also opena ground for legal suits on suspected discrimination if they do nothire individuals whose privacy they infringed. Therefore, asking forFacebook passwords should not ensue during recruitment (Slovensky andWilliam 57).
Lastly, employers ask for Facebook passwords to monitor the type offriend that people keep and the discussions they raise. In doing so,they seek to understand the untold behavior of the employee. Thosewho do not show desirable characteristics are likely to miss thepositions. However, using the information on Facebook to understandemployee behavior may be misleading (Slovensky and William 57). Thereason it is protected by a password is because it is not meant foranybody else apart from the account owner. People try to relate withtheir Facebook friends in different contexts knowing that they are ina private platform. Therefore, when forced to expose theircommunication and friends, they may feel that their right to privacyis infringed. Besides, employers may not conclude the behavior ofemployees by just viewing their profiles and friends.
In conclusion, the above points argue against employers asking forFacebook passwords from their applicants. People put sensitiveinformation on their accounts like race and religion, and they can bea possible cause of discrimination. Also asking for a passwordinfringes the right to privacy. Employers should also not rely on theinformation gotten from Facebook to conclude on applicants’behavior since they relate with friends in different contexts.
Slovensky, Ross, andWilliam H. Ross. "Should human resource managers use socialmedia to screen job applicants? Managerial and legal issues in theUSA." info 14.1 (2012): 55-69.