Your Digital Footprint…

Ok so yesterday I posted on LinkedIn a scenario where an interviewer pulled up a candidate for a post they made. It is not a real scenario to me and it was imo funny and to raise awareness of watching your digital footprint now a days but it also threw up a few other discussion points see the post here

The main one for me and one I am interested in is “should your social media profile” / “digital footprint” have any bearing on your job suitability? Or if you are employed your position in a company?

This is a comment from Martin who initally raised the question:

“Valid point if this was done on company equipment  or in works time or some one sat work was the target or had complained . But what right has anyone to dictate what we put on our own private system. For an employer to monitor such would be an invasion of privacy”

And a few others have also agreed with Martins views

I do not know where the law stands on this however I wanted to put my view forward and to see what others think on this matter

1st thing to tackle is that if something is searchable and for all to see then imo it’s certainly not in any way “an invasion of privacy” It’s something that clients could see, associate with my brand and ultimately I could lose business as a result of it so I would do these check personally and feel they do have a place in the hiring or suitability process just as any candidate or employee would about their potential or current employer

If something is out there and it was from a while back or it’s not seriously offensive (I appreciate these 2 points are very grey as what someone calls “a while back” or “seriously offensive” to them is very subjective and will vary massively) then it would certainly would not stop me from interviewing them if they had relevant experience for the role

I would however look to see if they still held such views or mention the potentially offensive content and make them aware that it is in the public domain. If they held a view many years back and that has changed then fine, this happens, it’s life, it’s part of growing up and looking at things differently. I am sure we have all changed our views on something from when we were teenagers to now. I would also advise they delete such content or make private as a basic, immediate course of action

If they still held such views that I found offensive then of course this is where it becomes a problem as an employer as I want to create a culture in my business and this could serious damage this. As mentioned I am not coming at this from a legal perspective and I appreciate some people might chip in with “if they are able to do the job then…” which is fine on paper but in the real world and in teams then culture is, in my opinion, as important if not more so than “can they do the job here and now” It’s a real factor people and we need an honest discussion around this

So this is a brief outline of my view on this. It’s relevant news with Jared O’Mara now being suspended by Labour for comments he made in 2002 & 2004 so I am very interested to hear your views on this matter