Why Employers Shouldn’t Judge Us By Our Past

This is something that has been bothering me for the past year at least. Nowadays, employers are looking up our social networking sites, backgrounds, and now even our credit scores. Honestly, I think it’s unfair that employers base the decision not to hire us on our life outside of the work environment. Here’s why. 

1) Social Networking sites. 

Facebook. Twitter. Pretty much anything that isn’t LinkedIn. For awhile I was hunting for a job. Any job as long as it wasn’t fast food. So many resumes, and so many interviews. Sometimes even second interviews! But I never got the call back. I couldn’t understand why;  I had all the credentials they were asking for, and even more than that sometimes. I had the personality, the best answers, and professionalism. My Facebook account, however, did not. If you were able to find my Facebook account, you’d see a new mom who likes to have fun with her friends. You’d probably find some pictures of me drinking, and there are some innocent pictures of my girlfriends and I at State Fair, concerts, etc. I turned 21 a few years ago. Of course I went out. However, now that I’m older, and a mom, I just can’t do that anymore. And to be honest, I don’t want to do that anymore. Those pictures are from many months and years ago. I’m a completely different person now than I was back then. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to reminisce, and apparently potential employers don’t mind it either. According to them, that is what defines me as a person. I have obvious issues with this. The first point I made; I’m always changing and am more mature than I was back then. The second point: my social life is exactly that. My social life. It’s what I do outside of work. I am a completely different person outside of work than when I’m at work, and I believe I have the right to be as well. That is why we leave outside issues at the door when we get to work. That is why we leave work issues at work when going home to our families. They are separate. That is why I have a LinkedIn account; so people can view my accomplishments and my professionalism. I have a Facebook so that I may connect with my friends. Ever since I’ve made it almost impossible to find me on Facebook, I was hired on at my current job. They interviewed me, saw my qualifications, witnessed my personality and my eagerness to deliver, and judged me on that, as it should be. 

2. Background checks.

While I do believe that background checks should be performed before hiring someone, I still do have a few problems with this. If an employer does a background check to find out if a potential employee has stolen something or committed a crime that would affect their business, I understand that. However, if something came up in the background check such as a small claims filing, speeding, or other misdemeanor, I think it biased to judge a person based on that. Yes, it may show some irresponsibility, but again I stress the point I made above; people change, and anything on the background check such as those listed above was committed outside the work place. People can still be responsible at work, and (depending on what comes up), misdemeanors should not hinder someone from getting the position they desire.

3. Credit Checks. 

This is probably the most shocking to me. Why would an employer need to check a credit score? Again, it’s about the responsibility theme. This was another reason I wasn’t able to get hired. A long long time ago, I made a terrible mistake that still affects my credit score today. I also had a lot of medical issues, and therefore plenty of bills. Those are the only things on my credit score, but boy do they add up. The contradiction lies here, however: How can I repay my debts if no one will hire me because I have a bad credit score? Isn’t that the whole reason I’m trying to get a job? So that I can be current on my bills and pay off bad debts? And how else am I supposed to do that without a job? What else bothers me is that one mistake I made 5 years ago will haunt me if an employer were to perform a credit check. Just one mistake, and that’s all it takes. 

I understand employers have the ability to be picky nowadays. However, I believe that they should be picky when performing the interview and stick to the basics. Before the wonders of internet, how else would they have done it? Would they have followed me out of the building to see if I went to a bar later on with my friends? No, they wouldn’t have. If I display professionalism in my interview, and I fulfill the qualifications, judge me by that. Don’t judge me by what I do in my free time, that is my time for a reason. 

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~ by mmasters89 on December 26, 2012.

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