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Is it ok for companies to look through the applicants social media profiles during the hiring process??
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I've heard wildly different opinions on this from friends over the world. Ranging from it's OK to they should have no right. My opinion is that in this day and age it should be expected that the internet is used to research anyone you are making a contract with. 

People feel like jobs are a right but in reality you are making an agreement to do certain things in exchange for money. One of those things is to behave a certain way to maintain the image of the company that hires you.

If someone behaves poorly outside of work, it's known publicly, and the company does nothing, then it reflects poorly on the company in question. I know I would fire someone for being racist etc, so why would I hire them in the first place if they are happy to post about it in public?

Naturally it will depend on the content people are posting and what the company actually cares about. In reality even if someone isn't a content creator everything they post online is a living breathing CV for current and potential employers to see.

It's not hard to lie on a paper or email CV, it's relatively easy to put on a false front for an interview. But what someone has posted online when they're most relaxed can sometimes tell you a lot more about them.

I'm against companies using social media to discriminate against people. Perhaps not employing a woman who has hinted she will want a child, or not giving a job to someone of a different faith.

Some posts can perhaps be explained away and in the right context not harm an applicant but some things could automatically disqualify someone early on in the hiring process.

There are always two sides to a coin! Just as social media acts as a pitfall for some people and it will no doubt harm their chances of employment, it also acts as a canvas for someone to paint their own picture and increase their chances of getting work.

So long as there is no invasion of privacy I have no problems with companies using social media profiles to research current or potential staff.

I think Social Media Profiles are irrelevant. What is important during the application process for me are three things :

- Curriculum Vitae/Resume

Its a summary of the person's profile. You can look on his background where he graduated, his achievements, the trainings and seminars he attended, and other important information of the person. 

- Entrance Examination

IQ tests, personality tests, Emotional tests, and other relevant exams are crucial to check the applicant's capability. I firmly believe that companies needs to insert entrance exams during the application process as it will support the statement on his capabilities as a person.

- Interview Process

Interviews are important and I think most of the companies are having this ones as managers/HRs can assess the employee. It has been an effective technique too.

Those three were very essential into hiring the best candidates viable for a position and I think Social Media Profiles will not matter unless if the brand of the company focuses on Social Media itself and influence.

This is just my opinion and a separate issue from companies requiring applicants to turn over user names and passwords.

IF an applicant's social media is set to public a company looking through the applicant's social media posts and profiles is fair game. However, if the applicant has the social media accounts set to private then in my opinion it is wrong because the company would have to do something invasive and violate the applicant's privacy in order to view the social media accounts.

If the applicant at one time had the social media accounts public but set the accounts to private later the only acceptable way a company could look through the applicant's accounts in my opinion would be through a legitimate archive that is available to the public.

Therefore, in general as long as an applicant's privacy isn't being infringed on and the company is acting morally I have no problem with a company reviewing an applicant's social media accounts. There are legitimate reasons for doing that and I would probably do it if I were an employer.

Yes and No! It is okay for companies to look through an applicants social media provided they do it within the boundaries of the law (like only viewing a public profile) to get a general idea of the applicant's behaviour and interests.

While it is okay to look on an applicant's public profile, it is totally unacceptable for that company to use whatever they found on the applicants social media to reject his/her application.

Case in point: The company found out that the applicant is "muslim", "gay" or has a disability through his/her social media.

If the company used that information against the applicant, the company is open to potential lawsuits like Gender Discrimnation, Race/Religion Discrimination.

Again, it is okay to look at the applicant's profile but all info gotten from it should not hold any value to why you are hiring the applicant.