Signs of the Times

signs of the timesWe’ve seen stories in the news and on television about workers being fired for comments and photos they’ve posted on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. We’ve heard about companies conducting online searches of potential employees in the same social networking sites claiming they want to know how a potential employees acts outside the workplace.

Should it really matter to an employer what workers post on social networking sites, provided they make their posts on their own time? Is it intrusive for employers to cross into workers’ personal lives in this manner? As for potential employees, should it matter how individuals act outside the workplace especially if their work performance is on target?

Have employers just gotten to the point of searching for negatives and reasons to terminate employment? Are employers just looking for reasons not to hire? Have we evolved into a business world where the glass is now half empty as opposed to half full?

6 comments

  1. Molli Megasko

    I agree with Harold, it’s definitely a fine line but I’ll tell you what, I would not want to work at a company that uses Facebook to find reasons to fire people. And secondly, If you’re doing things that you wouldn’t do in front of your boss, first , grow up. second … don’t post them online!

    Employers should know their employees and if they are engaging in out-of-office activities that are harmful to themselves or the business, then by all means, red flags need to be raised. But come on people! When you were little and you skipped school, did you come home and tell your mom what you bought at the mall instead of sitting in class?

  2. Harold (SMM)

    Great questions and I liked the CNN article you linked to, also. It is indeed an interesting time we find ourselves in. On one hand businesses are having to engage these social networks because that is where their customers are and on another those same businesses employ people who are using those networks.

    When blog first hit the scene I can remember the stories of employees fired over blog posts. That’s sort of died down some as blogs have and as bloggers and businesses have become more savvy.

    I think in the end though, businesses will ultimately just have to embrace the problems of the new information age and accept it as it is. Of course in the embrace they need to work steering it by having a good attitude toward employees and customers.

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