Due Diligence Checking on job candidates’ Facebook pages may reduce the résumé pile on an employer’s desk, but some background checks may be made to avoid hiring a criminal, for instance, for a sensitive job. An inter - viewer may justly employ due diligence —checking a job candidate’s criminal record and employment history, performing a credit check, screening for drugs, and following up on the applicant’s references—if given the candidate’s permission. This might seem a fair proposal to ensure that employees are not just capable but also honest and not disposed to criminal behavior. However, since that person has given permission to the employer, the information may again be accessed whenever the employer wants to know more about the workers—which raises an important question: For how long should a company continue to monitor an employee’s behavior outside of the workplace? One argument is that by monitoring an employee’s social behavior, a manager can determine whether that employee is losing focus or going through trouble outside work that may affect his productivity. For instance, the manager may become aware of the employee’s inability to keep a long-term relationship, which explains his mood swings in the office; or all night partying on the weekend could start to harm punctuality. Awareness of such pressures and tendencies may help a manager deal with an employee better— or become prepared to fire him for slacking. Arguably, there comes a point when such research becomes intrusive , even though it may be sanc - tioned by law. Moreover, some research channels, such as the aforementioned social networking sites, can give an interviewer access to information that may not legally be used in judging appli - cability for employment, including the candidate’s age, relationship status, religious or political preference, and sexual orientation. According to the ethicist Michael Jones, companies should not be trawling for information on applicants that, unlike a credit history or a drug screening, could be unfairly taken out of context (Jones, Schuckman, & Watson, 2004). On this view, not peering into a person’s online activity is a matter of fairness. We should treat applicants equally and based on their aptitude for the job and what they do on the job, rather than on what clubs they frequent or whom they spend their weekends with. What Would You Do? You are a human resources manager for a large marketing firm. A job candidate is coming for an interview in the morn - ing. Her résumé is impressive and she seems to be a perfect match for the job.
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- Spring '19
- Amy Smith