Monday, January 17, 2011

Many employers Google job candidates but how does what they find affect the decision to hire?

That's the topic discussed in this very interesting post from the blog Attorney at Work.  What if, for example, your Google search of a job candidate turned up that she won a wet t-shirt contest in college?  Would it disqualify her in your estimation?  Our students will confront these scenarios with increasing frequency in the years ahead as background Google searches become the norm (if they aren't already).  Here's how the authors of AAW worked through the issues:

  • Did the found information matter? Was it relevant to the job?
  • Would clients actually care, if they ever learned about it?
  • Was the behavior representative of poor judgment? Or was it just the posting of the information and photos that was reckless? And could we really hold them responsible since it was posted by someone other than themselves?
  • Since there was now no way to “unknow” this information, would it result in a hostile work environment? Could we, indeed, work with “someone like that”?
  • Were we being hypocritical? Did we really believe that no one already in the firm was currently living (and posting) similar experiences?

The bottom line seems to be that while some employers will reject a job candidate who's done some unconventional things in their past other employers will view it as an attribute.  Be yourself, live life - but don't do anything too wacky (and if you do, don't post it online).

You can read the rest here.


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