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“Social Intelligence” Searches Social Media History for Employers

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Criminal background checks and credit reports aren’t the only way employers can research potential employees anymore. A new year old start-up company, Social Intelligence, now scrapes the internet for anything a prospective employee has said or done within the past 7 years. Long gone are the days where your social life and job life didn’t mix.

This new way of researching a potential employee is definitely raising eyebrows when it comes to security questions. But according to Max Drucker, chief executive of the company, they are only finding what is publicly available online. The Federal Trade Commission has determined that the company is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What kinds of information is the company finding that would cause a person not to be hired? A little bit of everything it seems. From nude photos and racist remarks to someone searching OxyContin on Craigslist.

Here are some interesting numbers: “75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online”.

What does this all mean? Since it looks like employers researching a potential employee online is not in any way illegal, it means you should be careful what you put out there if you are looking for a job or plan to do so within the next 7 years. It also means that hiring people is harder than ever. Employers have to decide what’s important and what’s not important when they are looking at potential candidates for the job at hand.

What do you think about Social Intelligence and what they do for employers? Do you think it crosses the line between work and our personal lives?

Source: NY Times

Image: SXC

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