September 28, 2007
Employers Using LinkedIn To Check Out Prospects Before Hiring

Rather than check out provided references after interviewing some employers are using social networking sites to find work acquaintances to ask about prospective employees even before calling them in for interviews.

Job interviewees, beware: Your prospective boss may have called your references before you walk through the door -- and they may not be the contacts you provided.

Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn Corp. and Jobster Inc. are making it easier for employers to get in touch with people who have worked with job candidates in the past or know them personally. Recruiters say they use such sites -- where people create online profiles and then link to professional colleagues who are also members -- to find mutual connections they can hit up for information. Many hiring managers say they even check to see if they have mutual connections with a candidate on Facebook and MySpace, the popular social-networking sites.

Companies are even trolling social networking webs to find job candidates. So you can get your references checked out before you even know about a job opening.

This is an automation of what has gone on informally and less efficiently for years. A person who has previously worked at companies Y and Z gets a job at company X and tells people in company X who the big talents are in former employers Y and Z. Then company X personnel call up these talents and try to recruit them. This is great fun when you are the person who gets asked to come in and interview for a position in a company you never heard of before. Well, the web is going to make this so9rt of thing happen more often. Want to find out who is good at company W? Find connections between current and former employees and then start trying to email and call them. In many cases just one or two names will be enough to start the process of finding lots of connections.

This ability to find out the appraisals of more former colleagues will increase the value of working hard wherever you are. Each job becomes more of an audition for other jobs.

This phenomenon is part of a larger trend: the death of privacy. Communications and computing advances mean that more about us gets recorded and knowable by electronic means.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 September 28 11:34 PM  Comm Tech Society

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