Hunting for clues online

A look at several social media investigations that gleaned results for employers
By Evert Akkerman
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/01/2016

In this era of instant access to millions, employees and jobseekers increasingly realize the privacy screen that used to separate work and life has been lifted. Off-duty behaviour is no longer just an employee’s or job seeker’s business, even when people think no one is looking or only their friends will see it. 

As a result, employers are adding a social media check as a standard step in the selection process. This can be quite revealing, often showing an ill-advised move by an employee, such as derogatory comments about a supervisor or being on disability and posting a picture showing them climbing a palm tree in Hawaii.

In recent years, there have been many examples of internal theft, fraud cases, bullying or workplace violence threats and other issues that came to light because of unwise, unfortunate or offensive postings on social media by employees — prospective, current and former.