Hiring Policies

Personal social media sites have brought with them the issue of whether or not a company should take those sites into consideration when hiring.  My fiancé went on a business trip to Arizona recently.  The associates at the office there took him out afterwards for dinner and drinks.  Included in this group was the HR woman.  She told Matt, my fiancé, about a tough decision she had made earlier in the week.
There were two potential employees she interviewed who were both well qualified.  She thought the woman would make a better fit for the company because of her past experiences and her personality.  The man she interviewed had similar experiences but just did not click with the HR woman.  However, the HR woman looked for their Facebook pages.  She found the man’s and searched through all of his information and found no pictures with alcohol or partying.  The woman’s Facebook was private, but she found her boyfriend’s Facebook was not.  So, the HR woman went through the applicant’s boyfriend’s Facebook to look at pictures!!! What she found was not really all that terrible according to Matt.  She saw pictures of the woman drinking on the beach.
So, the HR woman did not like seeing those pictures.  Even though she thought the woman would be the better fit for the company, she chose the man.  She told Matt that if it weren’t for the Facebook pages, she would have chosen the woman.
No, I didn’t get to see the pictures…..
Moral of the story is no matter whether you think it is right or wrong, your Facebook profile (or any other social media) can affect whether you are unemployed or not!
Some companies may require applicants to friend them on Facebook.  I am not quite sure whether I agree with this or not.  I do think that it shows the person’s true colors better, but it doesn’t mean that their personal and work life is one in the same.  At my last job there were certain people that I friended on Facebook and some that I chose not to, including my boss.  I wish I would have asked if they saw my facebook before they hired me out of curiosity.
However, I recently read an article about how some companies want someone’s password to their social media sites before they hire them! I definitely don’t agree with this! Read more here.
Do you think companies should look at your social media sites before they hire you?  Does it make a difference if your sites a private or public? (I think it is definitely ok for a company to look at your Facebook if it is public…..but what about how the HR woman in Arizona looked at her boyfriend’s pictures?) What are your opinions about companies asking for passwords?