The publicness of private life

I seem to recall posting something here, once upon a time, about the foolishness of trying to look like a goody goody on the internet. Yes. Well Ryan Healy (guesting at the Brazen Careerist) seems to agree:

The more young people enter the workforce the less risk there is that someone will Google them to look for bad behavior. Human resources leaders don’t have the time to sleuth. But also, there just aren’t enough perfect little angels in the world to go around.

Plus, are wise employers actually looking for perfect little angels anyway, even if there was a glut of them? For most purposes, wouldn’t human beings be preferable?

Now that “private” lives are starting to become as public as working lives, the pretence of “private” hundred-per-cent decorum is going to have to be abandoned.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

One thought on “The publicness of private life”

  1. One comment on the original posting:

    I disagree. The vast majority of people still manage to leave no significant trace of themselves on the net and, like it or not, most HR departments are very risk-adverse.

    Imagine two candidates for a job: one with no noticeable history on the web and one whose name on Google brings up his photo on a libertarian blog. The blog is generally fine, but when the HR drone looks a bit deeper he finds a misguided article looking at race from a libertarian perspective, with plenty of comments from racists that the author hasn’t had time to moderate. He also finds a post “humorously” suggesting Polly Toynbee should be strung up. At this point there is no doubt in the HR drone’s mind: he will go for Mr Anonymous.

    Posted by Charles Pooter on 11 June 2007

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