Bad hiring practice

The Hastings career center recently sent out a warning:

Dear Students:

We know that blogs and websites such as Friendster,, and

Facebook are getting to be a fact of life, but employers have become

quite savvy in their research of potential candidates.  You should

operate under the assumption that anything on the web written by or

about you will be discovered by a potential employer.  All of this is

information that can be factored into an employer's hiring decision.

We have heard recently that some employers are now using these

sources as a device to weed out candidates, reviewing student


A student whose byline is "Party with your pants off!"* or who

describes themself as a "semi-stoner"* might face questions from a

more traditional employer.  If you are going to post, we encourage

you to keep your material as "clean" as possible and consider using

any privacy protection that the site offers.

*We found this material in a very quick search on MySpace.

My commentary:

I call bullshit.  Not that I don't believe it's true, I'm simply trying to say I think that practice is bullshit.  I don't act the same way at home as I do at work.  When I party with the guys, I'll get shitfaced and make an ass of myself.  But I will always be professional at work.  What does a predilection for partying indicate?  It indicates someone with vicacity and drive.  This is precisely what employers should be looking for.  If you refuse to hire someone because they are willing to "party with their pants off," then you will end up with a firm filled with dull, lifeless automatons.  That's not the way to create an effective office.

So the first problem is hiring partners are too uptight and don't want to hire someone who knows how to have fun.  The second problem is that they judge applicants based on an unfair standard.  The third problem is privacy.  As long as I act professionally in the office, what I do in my spare time should be none of your damn business.  It's unfair for you as a hiring employer to pry into my personal life as a way of judging my ability to perform in the office.

By the way, there are links at the right of this page to my MySpace and Friendster profiles.  Check 'em out.