CV, interview... Facebook? Why social snooping does job hunters - and you - no favours

I could hide from my employers online, but I don't want to...

Looking up prospective employees on social networking sites may seem like a good way to vet candidates, but employers should avoid the temptation to snoop, says's Shelley Portet.

Bosses have been warned against using social networks to check up on potential employees in a report published by employment relations body Acas.

The report said managers who use social networks to vet candidates could find themselves facing charges of discrimination if they are considered to have rejected a candidate because of information they found about their age, sexuality or religion.

But it also conceded that it is unlikely rejected applicants will be able to find evidence of discrimination - so it will be up to employers to regulate themselves.

 Your Facebook account may help you connect with more people than you think, including your employer

Your Facebook account may help you connect with more people than you think, including your employerPhoto: Pixelbully

With human nature and the impulse to snoop being what it is, it's likely many employers will continue to use social networks to vet employees regardless.

While social networks may seem like the ideal way to suss out a candidate, an individual's personal life shouldn't become part of the recruitment process.

Before the era of social media, judgements on a candidate were made purely through a CV and an interview, and that's the way it should remain. Here are my three reasons why.

1. Because everyone has fun, sometimes

We are all entitled to a private life and while employers may argue that Googling candidates is part of finding the right person for the job, they may stumble across some irrelevant aspect of a candidate's personal life that could affect their judgement.

It is unfortunate that, for the current generation who are trying to get into work, evidence of a fun weekend is often recorded and published all over Facebook and, for those with an open profile, that means potentially put into the hands of their future employer.

While an employer may find it difficult to take a candidate seriously when they have seen a picture of them dressed as a tiger while drinking bright blue shots, that picture should not play a part in deciding that person's aptitude to fulfil a role.

According to the Acas report, 53 per cent of HR managers cited 'provocative or inappropriate' photographs posted on social network sites as a...