In today’s society one of the biggest social media tools is Facebook. People use Facebook for various reasons which include: keeping in touch with those that live distantly, planning activities, sharing information, forming groups and sharing causes.
Recently however, Facebook is being used by many employers for a different reason. Many employers are beginning to look up those in which they are interested in hiring in order to filter out those who would not be suitable for their company. Other employers are also checking Facebook to examine the integrity of their employee when they take a “sick day.”
“The company I work for actually had an issue with this. We had a few supervisors that had called in sick but were actually just hung over from a party they had had the night before. My boss saw pictures of the party and fired them on the spot,” Elan Monson, a sophomore.
“I had a friend that was employed for a family friend. She had had a party the night before and was hung over so she called in ‘sick’. The boss saw pictures on Facebook of her party, and called her and told her not to bother coming in anymore,” Giles said.
The question that revolves this issue is, is it really ethical for an employer to use Facebook as a tool when deciding who to hire and who to fire, or is Facebook simply a form of expression? UVU students voiced their opinions in a number of ways.
“I don’t really think that it’s right for employers to use it in that way. Facebook is just a way to express your opinion and everyone is entitled to that,” said freshman Jordan Millet.
However, Giles disagreed with Millet because he felt that if it’s out there, then it fair for anyone to look at it.
“If it’s on the Internet anyone can look at it. If you put it up there you can’t be sad when you get fired because of it,” Giles said. “Besides employers are trying to find the best fit for their company and too many people lie on their resume.”
UVU’s Director of the Career Development Center, Michael Snapp explained the purpose behind employers checking Facebook and gave some advice for those that have a Facebook and are looking for employment or are currently employed.
“Facebook is being used more and more as a filtering tool for companies,” Snapp said. “Set your privacy on the highest level so only your closest friends can see your page, delete posts and pictures that are incriminating and keep your Facebook managed.”