Facebook. Twitter. MySpace. Blogs.
These social networking tools have changed everything about hiring staff, finding volunteers and leading people. Why? Because everything you’ve posted, tweeted, commented, emailed, sent—it’s all out there. Seth Godin says it this way: “Google never forgets.”
A report from the University of Evansville seems to back this. They found that more and more employers are turning to the internet to screen applicants. The study determined that employers were able to determine with a “surprising level of accuracy” personality traits and indicators that could predict future job performance.
It’s worked for us. Before we hire people, we research them on Facebook and MySpace and other sites. We have discontinued our talks with a potential staff member because of their online persona. We’ve also fired people based on what we have found online.
I would recommend doing some simple searches before you hire or select high level volunteers. Even personally, be smart online. You might be ticked at the church you last worked at—but you’d do well not to air that online. Like Godin says, “Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you're on Candid Camera, because you are.”