I created a Facebook account a few months back. I listed my name, company’s name, and I simply wrote this on my profile: I’m only here to spy on you. Seriously. I wanted to see who in my company had created pages, and what was on them. And naturally, I soon started checking up on candidates, too. I’m nosy, what can I say?
Thankfully, the staff at my firm know better and “get it” – I’ve yet to come across anything that would make me gasp. But does everyone else really get it? Hard to say because I’ve seen some dumb things on a few dumb individuals’ pages. (I’ll let the shameless remain nameless.) And what to do with those unfortunate souls who don’t yet seem to grasp that we are watching and making judgments upon what they put online? Let’s not forget where the term “dooced” came from.
Admittedly, I started actively using Facebook in recent weeks and have become an engaged community member. I have a real page with pictures and all. I absolutely am starting to get what the lure of Facebook is. And yes, I love it too. But I’m only an HR pro by day, you know?
Maybe there have been some things posted by others that I haven’t really wanted everyone or anyone I work with seeing. Perhaps a friend caught me getting a bit carried away over the weekend and has the pictures to back it up. Or maybe someone wrote something on my wall that really was for our eyes only. Delete. Delete. Delete! Those naughty bits are for me to know and for you to only suspect but never have proof of – enter the very magic of the “delete” function.
If you’re going to create an account on Facebook or whatever the next big social networking site is, let me just say this — think twice about listing your company’s name. And if you are going to list it, could you please only put content you feel comfortable with your boss and/or clients knowing? Because we are watching you. No joke. And you don’t have to have all your business out there online. You can control it. Trust me.
No doubt the debate over whether we can/should/will use what we find online to make employment decisions or judgments of professionals will rage on… but in the meantime, clean up your Facebook page. It isn’t that difficult to do. And remember… someone is watching.
Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don’t be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she’s still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life… she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat.