Thought Leader

Respect a job applicant’s privacy!

I keep harping back to the fact that I first moved to the UK in 2008. Well, it was monumental. I’ve gained a reputation for being brutally honest. Even though I’ve toned down over the years. I’ve come into situations where the slightest I’ve said to a colleague via email has resulted in a ‘we need to have a talk’ consequence. This could very well be because it’s the UK. But don’t let them fool you, censorship in the UK is rampant. But I digress.

I first came to the UK back in 2008, during the midst of the world’s biggest recession. It was harsh out here. I couldn’t get a job in my field (writing, online marketing) to save my life. Then again, it’s understandable that I couldn’t get a job in social media because no one knew what they wanted in social media to begin with. Nonetheless, I create a blog to be able to offload. I needed something to channel my energy into. I was called out twice because my honest blog was ‘found’ on the internet. Then I came back in 2011, and something similar happened. The recruiter was really about it. But like, let’s be honest, she basically said ‘don’t post offensive blogs’. So today, when I came across this wonderful article in the Financial Times the following and I quote:

Employers who check a job candidate’s Facebook or Twitter profile before deciding whether to hire them may be in breach of European law, top regulators have said, as the EU tightens its data protection policies.

Taken from the Financial Times

I couldn’t be happier. I can understand that job seekers need to take accountability for themselves, and just be professional. So, be weary of putting tattoos on your face, unless you work for a company that’s cool with self-expression. If you’re thirsty, maybe drink a glass of water rather than acting like a thirst bucket on Instagram. Things like that. But I don’t believe that a prospective employer should penalise a job applicant because they’re honest. If that person has said on their Facebook page that they don’t like Theresa May, then they shouldn’t be punished for having a political. Now, I do believe that there’s thin line. People who engage in things that hurt other people and society need to be called and dealt. But not just ‘not hired’ from a perspective employer, but dealt with by their peers and family members.

As an employer, to feel that level of entitlement and stalk someone’s social media is kinda creepy. I have been stalked on social media by employers. Kudos to the employers who still wanted to hire me, but at this stage in the game, I’m not in any position to compromise my voice for a job. I guess that’s why I’m a business owner now.

Click here to read the rest of the Financial Times article.

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