If you read the Sunday “Funny Pages” (what they used to be called), then you may have seen this Dilbert comic strip and its expected comment on workplace issues. This week the topic is background checks of interview candidates.
Message for Job Applicants: Assume that your interviewer knows more about you than you think. People may be lulled into the belief that their social networks are “closed”; that privacy controls keep out unwanted eyes. Forget about it! Seasoned HR execs consider it a small challenge and have never failed to “hack-in”. And remember, any information floating in the social “web-o-sphere” can legally be used in making hiring decisions.
Message for Employers: Every applicant has a personal life; a person’s positive attitude and desire to succeed should not be devalued. Before social media, the approach at work was “what employees do at home is their business.” Despite the social media window into the souls of potential employees and the subtle desire to find faults, try to stick to this principle. Look deep enough, and you will always find something (Steve Jobs did some funky things). We all know bosses and colleagues who have had some pretty “exciting” lives outside of work. But that is just it; it was “outside of work”.
Message for Both: Attitude is hard to fake. Candidates should rely on their experience, personality and genuine interest in the position to convey their real attitude. Interviewers should stick to tried and true questions and techniques that draw out the truth and real aspirations of job applicants. Everyone has a personal life, even the staff at HRInsights (as evidenced by this article… people still read the “Funnies”???)