Are They Who They Say They Are?

 In 4. Jenny Brooks, Employees

Authored by Jenny Brooks

How familiar are you with MySpace? What about Facebook and LinkedIn?

These social networking sites are great for staying in contact with friends and networking with peers. They’re fun places to post pictures, videos, your favorite songs and movies. They’re intended to create virtual networks for people.

I got to thinking about these sites when a friend of mine told me he checked MySpace before hiring his preferred candidates. He wanted to see if these people presented themselves online the same way they presented themselves in an interview. In essence, he wanted to know if they were who they said they were.

You’d be surprised what people post on these sites and what you can learn about your potential new employees.

There are tons of articles online about the dangers of MySpace for teens, but there are also many more cropping up about the long-term ramifications of using MySpace and being a little too honest about your own behavior.

Personally, I didn’t figure this out until the opportunity to use it to my benefit had passed. Earlier this year I had a college student help me out after my second baby was born on a temporary basis. She helped me for about three months. She interviewed well, was punctual and said all the right things. I tested her out for a few days, and she took great care of my daughter. But when I finally figured out she had a MySpace page, I realized it would have made an entirely different impression on me. I’m not sure I would have hired her if I’d seen it beforehand. She wasn’t Charles Manson or anything, she just didn’t have her priorities in the right place. This started to show toward the end of her time with us when she called in sick multiple times and put her social priorities above her professional priorities.

For me, it was a great lesson learned.

So, just for giggles, give it a shot. Pick up some of those applications of people you didn’t hire and see if you find something on MySpace that tells you why you didn’t hire them.

And keep it in mind for yourself as well. If you’re a business owner and you have a MySpace page, how does it portray you?

Jenny Brooks is a public relations professional providing expert and strategic tactics for businesses trying to increase awareness about themselves and their products.

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