BANGALORE: Bangalore is no exception to the trend of employers asking potential employees for their Facebook IDs and passwords for a check on their personality. HR officers claim that they are only trying to figure out “the politically incorrect side” of the applicants.
Vishwanath, HR manager of a city-based international BPO, said asking for social networking passwords was the current background check trend.
“In the BPO sector, we deal with business data of big companies and we don’t want people who cannot be trusted. We spend nearly 2-3 months training new employees and share trade secrets with them. We would not want someone who isn’t trustworthy. We look for whether the person is honest, creative and credible” he said.
However, many people reject this trend.
“If an employer is not able to get the candidate’s “other side” in the interview, that means they are incapable. Even on Facebook, a person could be acting superficially,” said Pratik Maitra, an entrepreneur.
Although attrition rates are high in the BPO industry, Bangaloreans believe it is unjustified to resort to these means for background checks.
“Not only is it an infringement of privacy, but also a silly way of looking at issues like attrition. What is the real side of the person’s personality that these bosses want to know from a social networking site? Some people also “enhance” their web identities to make it more appealing to others, so the employers also have a chance of being misled. Asking for passwords is akin to censoring people and their varying moods,” said Priya Jain, a communication expert.
“Since there is no law preventing employers against this, I think now people will start building dual Facebook profiles,” said Siddharth Neelakanthan, an engineer.