04/18/2012 12:05 pm ET

Most Employees Would Refuse To Hand Over Facebook Passwords: Survey Says

Googling job candidates and checking out their social networks has become a standard part of many companies' hiring process. This is especially important for small businesses, since your staffs are small, and every job is crucial. But lately everyone has been buzzing about what happens when companies go one step further and ask job applicants (as well as current employees) for their social media passwords.

Obviously this didn’t go over very well with the American worker. In a recent American Pulse survey, here's what employees or job candidates said they would do if a business asked them to share their social media passwords:

  • 40.2 percent would either quit their jobs or withdraw their applications.
  • 16.1 percent would delete their social media pages.
  • 10.9 percent would share the passwords.
  • 10.5 percent would first edit their social media profiles, then hand over the passwords.

Why It Matters to Your Business: Seriously, bosses, why would you even go there? Looking at a candidate's social media presence to see how professional it is is one thing, but asking for private passwords is an invasion of privacy. Would you turn over your social network passwords to a potential landlord or a banker? And be careful when checking a candidate's social media profile, since rejecting a candidate based on what you find there could open you up to a lawsuit, if your rejection is based on a discriminatory reason).