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Tuesday 19 March 2019

Employers check up on recruits via social sites

Shane Hickey

SOME employers are monitoring social networking sites such as Bebo and Facebook to check out the backgrounds of potential recruits.

And yesterday there were calls for the practice to be outlawed so that any embarrassing indiscretions by candidates would not be allowed to influence the interview process.

John Carr, an international expert on social networking and an adviser to the UK government, described the practice as a "disgrace" which should be made an illegal offence.

Last month, an admissions tutor from Cambridge University admitted that he checked up on students to the college by looking at their Facebook accounts.

"It is anecdotal but when the tutor at Cambridge University acknowledged it publicly, he confirmed a lot of people's fears about the extent to which it was happening," said Mr Carr at a seminar on social networking yesterday.

"It is completely wrong. The kids do these things to communicate with their friends, they are not making job applications and I think it is just wrong that employers and schools do it. We are going to try and get the law changed to make sure that it is illegal," said Mr Carr.

His comments came at the "makeITSecure" seminar in Dublin, run by the Department of Communications.

Chair of the Internet Advisory Board, Audrey Conlon, said children "had to realise that the internet is such a public place and is not their private home".

Eleanor Petrie, of the National Parents Council, said she knew of someone who went for a job in the civil service and was asked at the end of the interview why his name was "Dangerous Dave" on his social networking site.

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said 70pc of young people use social networking sites, yet less than half of parents understand how they work.

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