Lets paint the scene with a little fiction ...
Jane a Manager of HR for a prestigious advertising firm had finally been given the go ahead from the HR Director Charles to prepare an offer for Lisa a Creative Director – where a Creative Director position had been open for months.
The process was gruelling: 10 candidates sourced internally, screened down to four; plus four from an recruiting agency. A panel style presentation interview to include 8 members of a Design and Marketing the team - checking for and evaluating Personality/Culture/Team fit, business knowledge, creativity, design skills and yes the dreaded behavioral interview ...
After all that Lisa came out the lucky winner ... Jane thought “ I don’t want to go through that again, but we have our girl”, or so she thought. References came back from the reference checking vendor ``A`` ok.
That was last Friday ... Monday morning Charles the Director of HR walks in to Jane’s office to say a member of the interviewing panel found some pictures on Lisa’s facebook showing her drunk out of her mind and Partying it up with her Girlfriends at some night club and after seeing them for himself said, "Perhaps we should delay making that offer just yet. We do have a reputation to protect and what would the other team members think ... `` Jane almost fell out of her seat.
She was not prepared to go through that gruelling process again and there was full consensus that they had the right person for the Job, the References came back solid from all of her former bosses in the last 8 years of her Career.
I will end our little story here ... We could argue that the “private” pictures on Facebook should in no way be apart of the assessment in deciding, is Lisa right for the Job and we can back that up: References solid, perfect fit for the role, great personality, excellent creative skills, knowledge of the market. Her LinkedIn profile also backs this up great references from colleagues, peers, bosses etc... Did Lisa make a mistake by creating a Personal Facebook Profile using her real name as she did on say LinkedIn? Is her assessment incorrect? Does she not have the skills? Is there something wrong with her Interviewers, namely the Director? Does he have a point? All valid questions.
I would like to propose that we keep our online identities separate. A Professional LinkedIn profile and a Private Facebook profile. What’s wrong in having a nick name on your Facebook Account – you can invite your friends and family; They know who you are already and they would understand. You can`t type my name Paul Alfred on Facebook and find me but that`s me ... I get to keep a Professional profile online and still have a non-criminal life after 6pm.
The obvious question is: Should our personal life impede on who we are professionally? In Lisa’s case, everything checked out. She was the perfect fit for the role an 8 member panel confirmed that.
Until we crossed the “It’s my private life “ line .... And, “It’s none of your business ...”
Or is it ... Perhaps for another blog...