Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hypocritical on Hiring Practices

I have a mixed opinion about this issue.

The City of Bozeman, Montana recently raised the ire of nerds everywhere the Internet with a hiring policy they had in place which required candidates who had been extended conditional offer of employment to furnish the
user name and password for
any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.....

Of course then they only offered 3 lines to do all this just like any other crappy paper application, but that is not what I am talking about.

The practice was discontinued shortly after the web uproar began.

Why did they pursue the policy in the first place? According to
City Manager Chris Kukulski, the city viewed the policy of looking at social network pages of applicants as being an important method for judging the character of future police, fireman and other employees.

When Barack Obama was elected President, I blogged about the Obama team's his hiring practices for the White House:

But if you are Barack Obama, the most tech savvy dude ever to be elected to the Presidency of the United States and you are bringing people into your cabinet or the inner circle, you may be thinking: "I run the government, and I don't want to look like an ass, so I am gonna check out what these people have REALLY been doing!"
I thought that this type of background check was a really good idea for the White House back in November, but I don't like this hiring practice from Bozeman, Montana. Why? Mostly because the sensitivity of staffing White House leadership position seems much more important to me than than those of Bozeman, Montana. But then I don't live or work in Bozeman, Montana, and what they do doesn't affect me very much. Not so the White House.

Is this a legitimate condition of employment? HR peeps should probably have a view on this. Mine seems to vary a bit.

I feel a little hypocritical. What do you think?

Am I a hypocrite for changing viewpoints based on size and mission of organization?

Please discuss..

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