A reader writes:
Are you still Case of the Mondays? I haven’t seen one in awhile. Anyway, I was trying to tell my friend that she’s not getting hired because she looks crazy on Facebook.
Can you address this?
I love giving HR/Job/Life advice. All you had to do is ask! I thought you guys had enough of my constant preaching. I promise to address it on the next Case of the Mondays.
(Note: I wrote this last night when I was watching Real Housewives of Wherever, while high on Mucinex, Sudafed, Thereflu, and a shot of Wild Turkey… please excuse the not-so-lucid thought process and rambling.)
When I was young in my HR career (not that I’m not young being seven years into it, but I feel like I have more experiences working at the car dealership than some people will see in 36 years in HR)… Anyway, when I was young in my HR career, I would simply read policies from the handbook during New Hire Orientation.
Now that I’m more experienced (and by experienced – I mean I’m basically a total HR whore now), I actually share my stories with people during New Hire Orientation. I find that I can tell a good story, and I find that stories actually stick with people more that some stupid policy written in a handbook. The stories are what they remember, and the stories make my job easier since they know what someone did before them, and they refuse to make that same mistake.
Take, for example, Carl the Porn Addict. No one wants to be Carl the Porn Addict, so I tell his story.
You’re probably wondering what Carl the Porn Addict has to do with Facebook. Well, nothing. But it’s a good story. So just humor me (because I feel like you’re about to get a two-for-one on this post).
When I come to the section about what’s monitored and what’s appropriate to look at on your work computer (which, just so you know , we look at everything – and we have every right to do so since we’re paying you and own the equipment – so don’t talk smack about your company through emails)… So when I come to the section about your computer, I always look the newbie in the eye and very seriously say,
Don’t be Carl the Porn Addict. DO. NOT. LOOK. AT. PORN. AT. WORK.
And the person (that has now officially worked at the car dealership for a half hour) laughs nervously. Am I being funny? Or is this some sort of weird place to work where everyone has a porn problem?
Let me tell you about Carl the Porn Addict. Carl the Porn Addict worked here a couple of years ago. He ended up being the scariest person I’ve ever fired. He tried to lock me and his manager in his office, but that’s another story. Carl liked him some porn.
Again, the new hire laughs nervously.
One of his co-workers complained that whenever they walked into Carl’s office, he seemed to be, you know, playing with “it”. And he’d quickly flip his computer screen off whenever someone came in. Of course, this was cause for alarm, so we checked his computer history, and as it turns out, the co-worker was correct. Carl was spending his days looking at porn.
Now the new hire is on the edge of his seat. Is the HR Director really telling him a story about porn?
Anyway, I don’t know how to check a computer’s history. If I think you’re looking at porn, I tell the IT Manager, and he checks into for me. The problem is – he brings me proof before he wipes a computer clean. Do you know how embarrassing it is to look at some of the things I’ve seen in my HR career?
No, no I don’t. What have you seen?
Well, I can’t tell you. I’m HR. But just know this, some people are into some very strange things. Carl was into some weird things, and his manager and I had to let him go for indulging at the office. So we went into his office, and he barricaded the door until we agreed to change our minds about firing him. He just couldn’t bear the thought of going home to tell his wife that he was fired for porn. The thing they were in marriage counseling for. So he wouldn’t let us out. Of course, Carl doesn’t work here anymore, and I’m still alive to tell this story, so it all worked out for me and his manager. But, the moral of the story is, don’t look at porn at work. Which leads me to my next policy… Workplace Violence and Threats of Violence…
Do you know what happened at work when I began sharing the story of Carl the Porn Addict with the newbies? PEOPLE STOPPED LOOKING AT PORN AT WORK! It was a miracle!
So I guess that’s why I like to share these stories. Maybe one of you just has to look at porn at work. And maybe this story prevented you from doing so today. If so, YOU ARE WELCOME.
Here’s something else I’m going to tell you to help you today – my intern’s job is to screen applicants for me. She looks all of you up on Facebook. She knows what’s acceptable and what’s not, in my eyes.
Let me share another thing with you. This one’s HUGE.
I PRETTY MUCH ONLY RECRUIT VIA FACEBOOK NOW.
That’s right. You either send me your resume on a whim or I seek you out through social media. I do not run Help Wanted ads. They cost way too much money. Especially when I can find anyone I want on the world’s largest social network – Facebook. Hell, my mom’s even on Facebook.
And now there’s this awesome tool that recruiters are using called BranchOut that allows me to key word search (even through private profiles). And people don’t mind being recruited on Facebook. They like it. They like making more money, having better benefits, and working for me instead of some crappy job.
So, Sarah, your friend isn’t just getting screened because she looks crazy on Facebook, she might not be getting called about jobs she didn’t know existed because of how she looks on Facebook.
So let me be very blunt about what I think when I see certain Facebook profile pictures. Facebook can help or hurt job seekers. Don’t let it hurt you.
You will cry all day and talk about how bad it sucks to work here. Also? You look scary with your lips pierced. I don’t want you scaring away customers who are about to pay $50K for a new Volvo.
I don’t know if you’re joking or not. But I think you’re going to sell drugs at work. I come from a very small town. And the guy that sold my high school boyfriend a joint once after a football game, he looked like this. So clearly you deal in marijuana and are from the West side.
I’m sure this was a very fun bachelerette or Halloween party. But you look like sluts. I think you’re going to wear those hooker shoes to work, which just makes me uncomfortable. I’m now thinking about the conversation we’ll have to have about them.
Unless you’re looking for a record deal, crazy colored hair just holds you back in life in general. Everyone is judging you. And I know you did this because you think, “I don’t care what people think about me.” Well, you’ll care when someone wants to pay you money and you can move out of your grandma’s basement.
I really do see this stuff.
Based on this, I know that you have more important things to do on a Friday morning than come to work.
No, I won’t hire a douche. How could we even teach you anything? You already know it all.
Dress Code Problems:
Pull. Your. Pants. Up.
I like a joke as much as the next guy, but I would pass on this person because I figure I’m wasting the $45 it’ll cost to drug test him. Oh, and you should know employers can and do drug test for the fake weed and bath salts now.
If you love someone so much that this is your Facebook profile picture… I won’t hire you. I feel like all you’ll do all day is talk or text your lover. And that’s a real problem. We need people to do work.
One last tip: Join BranchOut. If you have a BranchOut profile, the recruiting software I’m using will pull that instead of your Facebook profile. See? I just helped you clean up your act without really cleaning up your act.
I hope you’ve learned something today about porn and HR people and Facebook. And know this, HR people like to have fun as much as the next guy. We don’t care if you have some photos of you with a drink in your hand. We think that makes you look social, and we like social. Just don’t look like a giant douche bag, don’t look scary, don’t look like you’re stoned all the time, don’t look creepy, and don’t look like a slut.
That seems easy enough, right? So what do you think? Do you worry your profile holding you back? Do you have any Case of the Mondays questions you’d like to ask me?