Should bosses check Facebook before hiring? | News
VALDOSTA, GA- More businesses are turning to Facebook and other social media in making hiring decisions.
In Alpharetta, for example, they're checking Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube channels of prospective employees for public safety jobs.
While some bosses around the country are asking applicants to log in to their facebook and twitter during job interviews, Valdosta Police doesn't believe that is necessary. But, they are still taking social media very seriously.
When the city of Valdosta is looking to hire a new member at the police department, social media pages like Facebook and Twitter serve as a reference tool, but it is not strict protocol.
"There is nothing in our hiring process where we have a step where we look at that," said Aaron Kirk with the Valdosta Police Department. "It's just every once in a while if something comes up or if we hear something, we have to investigate it. It may be where we look and potentially see if there is anything on there."
One reason why they don't depend on facebook is their rigorous hiring process. A new hiring already takes four to six months to get completed.
"They have to undergo background checks, psychological evaluations, physical examinations, reference checks, employment checks, and any number of things that are done by the police department and the human resources department," said Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson.
Current officers do have to adhere to a strict social media policy. That means that if applicants like to tweet every detail about their day, they would have to stop that once hired.
"We don't want them putting anything to do with the police department like cases, information on cases they are working, or images. It's more to protect them more than anything," said Kirk.
During the interviewing process, they do ask applicants if they take part in social media. But, they don't ask them to log in so their page can be reviewed.
"I believe that our hiring process is more rigorous and more robust than most," said Hanson. "I think we do a very good job in making sure the people we hire, particularly in public safety, are of the caliber we expect."
For Valdosta police, a background and a polygraph check are more useful in the hiring than a status or a tweet.
The strict social media policy for current officers is in place to protect officers who could potentially testify in a court case.
Valdosta police enacted that social media policy a couple of years ago. They say they are following those websites closely and will adjust their policy if needed.
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