Companies reference Facebook for new hires

Posted by Debra Worley - email

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - With updated technology, background checks are going cyber.  Chances are your potential employer is logging onto personal sites like Facebook to check you out.

So, you may want to look carefully at who your friends are.

Tiana Barci is looking for a job and had no idea companies could be looking at her Facebook and messaging her friends.

More and more companies and recruiters are using the social networks to talk to their list of contacts and friends.

Gabe Bodner, a mortgage broker, uses Google results to learn more about future employers.  With the search engine, he can find people with Facebook or a linked profile.

"I'll typically just type in somebody's name, a candidate's name into Google and see if there's anything that pops up," said Bodner.

Bodner has never contacted an applicant's friends on Facebook or linked in, but he wouldn't rule out doing so.

"It's very appropriate to be aware of who you are dealing with and who you're hiring. That might be dealing with your client's personal information," said Bodner.

Michael Fertick who founded "Reputation Defender," a privacy and reputation management service, says you must be smart about who you select as friends on these sties, because they reflect who you are.

'A friend and an acquaintance might have a lot to say about that topic even if they don't know they're talking to a recruiter or even if they don't think that's what they're saying is relevant to the job that they're applying for," said Fertick.

Many job consultants suggest creating a list of recommendations on your Facebook site to give you back a bit of control.

Make sure your references are specific to the industry you want to enter, but consultants say don't drop the ball on developing your traditional three-person reference list.  Many companies still use that as a key hiring tool.