Posts tagged ‘unemployment’

Fired on Facebook? A new low or something expected?

Would you fire someone on Facebook? Would you be upset if you were fired ON Facebook? That’s what happened to Angel Clark, a weekend talk personality at WGMD Radio in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  She  wrote about it and displayed the messages on her blog.

The headline of the blog post may mislead just a little, the firing did not take place on her public timeline, but in a personal message.  Does that make it more palatable? After all, many people use Facebook as their e-mail for all intents and purposes. Still, with concerns over privacy, maybe there’s something just not quite right about using a social network to send an employee packing.

Angel was a part time employee,  but that shouldn’t make a difference. As far as I’m concerned, everyone should have the courtesy of an in-person meeting, with proper protocol followed. I worked at one large company that actually called local police every time they were going to fire someone.  This may be overkill, but with workplace shootings and violence, I can understand the company taking precautions.

Is firing by Facebook message something that will be more common? I’ll open it up to you.


Social Intelligence? Big brother is in charge of your future

March 2012 update: Companies and public agencies are now asking for an applicant’s social media passwords so they can go through your Facebook posts and “likes” to see if you are the perfect, compliant, robot that they apparently are looking for. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Do they get to keep your passwords as a condition of continued employment? We have met the future and it doesn’t look pretty.  Here’s the original post on social media background checks.


The following post may disqualify me from corporate employment for life. In fact, your reading it may disqualify you.

The Federal Trade Commission gave the green light to Social Intelligence Company to monitor Social Media profiles and give reports, similar to credit reports, to potential employers. Social Intelligence acts as Big Brother and finds all of those embarrassing photos, off-color comments and politically incorrect “likes”. They then flag you as “positive” or “negative”, and if negative, your employability may be down the drain. The reports are kept on file for seven years, just like your credit report. Social Intelligence claims that they are not keeping a database on prospective hires, but will pull a new report each time.

One applicant was given a “negative” for “liking” a page that said “I shouldn’t have to press 1 for English” deeming that evidence of racism. (Presumably you don’t go on record criticizing lax enforcement of immigration laws either). Another had a picture of himself holding a gun. This gun collector just might shoot up the place, so the software says. I’m thinking the gun enthusiast is probably less likely to commit workplace violence.

What are the implications and unintended consequences of social media background checks? I don’t remember ever using a social security number to sign up for an e-mail account. How does Social Influence know that it is me that made that politically incorrect post on an online forum? It may well have been me, but how do they know for sure?

Will other companies come on the scene to do a “black hat” service? Perhaps creating fake profiles to “friend” candidates for a peek at their private information (I’m told this happens already)? Using hacking techniques? The possible abuses are endless. Between credit checks,  social media background checks and the usual discrimination that occurs (age being a big one) are enployers telling us only the perfect may apply? Are employers looking for automatons, with no opinions, no passions, no preferences, no life? Compliant beauracrats? Let’s hope not!

If I even could be bothered with a social media background check on someone, I’d remind myself that I don’t want a clone of myself. That person I may vehemently disagree with on religion or politics may be just the person I need on my team. If you were to ever work for me; go a few rounds with me on a business or personal topic. I need your passion, not someone who is a drone.

Is everyone’s employability really going to be reduced to a number? Maybe there will be only four employable people in the U.S.

What are your thoughts?

Setting myself free from the job search

Statue of Liberty

Whenever our government releases new unemployment statistics, they will talk about those who have given up looking for work. I often wonder how they know how many people are in that category. Surveys? Focus Groups? Is there a form to fill out? Maybe Form 8696 Schedule 16 is the official “I’ve tossed in the towel” form. I’m not sure what people are doing once they’ve “given up”. Fishing is only fun for awhile.

I’m going to find out, because I’ve given up job hunting! No more Applicant Tracking Systems for me, thank you. Who needs to guess the right keywords? Not me! Don’t like what’s on my Facebook page? Tough it out. My tie not straightened just right? Oh well. You want to know my credit score? I’m not telling. You think I’m too old because I like the Beatles and don’t like Lady Gaga? Tough! I’m setting myself free at last…to work even harder that I ever would at a J.O.B. Also to help more people and eventually find much better rewards for myself and my slowly-spreading-across-the- country family.

It’s no secret from those who know me that it’s been awhile since a regular paycheck has landed in my bank account like clockwork. I’ve spent a lot of time at The University of Brad (which could also be called the School of Hard Knox…ville), learning new media to combine with my old media and marketing skills. I’ve had a chance to study and learn from the best, and others who are doing trial and error.

Many, if not ,most of us, bought the idea years ago that we should only have one source of income, and we should be someone’s employee. In return, the company would “give” us health insurance and a pension, a couple of weeks a year off the job, and their loyalty. While some grew up in entrepreneurial families, entrepreneurship was all but non-existent for many of us. The company would take care of us, and if they didn’t, we’d find another one who would. Then, someone moved the cheese.

I’ve come to believe that just maybe, I have the skills to market my services directly to businesses that can benefit from them, much more than I can go through a tedious process of applying for jobs, going through interviews, and coming in second, or not even being able to get past the HR screen. Sometimes posted jobs don’t even exist, or they have a candidate in mind but have to go through the formality of a search process for legal reasons.
Don’t get me wrong. If the perfect, dynamite job opportunity comes along, I’ll be all over it. Those opportunities seem to come from networking, not HR offices and job boards.

I’ll be announcing my plans and projects in the next day or so. Wish me luck, tell me I nuts, or tell me your own story in the comments section.

Statue of Liberty

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