Sunday, December 9, 2007

Expert Interview

In my research thus far, it seems that the majority of companies that are using Facebook profile's in hiring decisions are internet based companies. Therefore, I chose an internet related company for my expert interview. Below is a brief recap of this interview.
I had the privledge of speaking with Mr. Paul Tamburello who is a computer scientist for a technology consulting firm called Booz Allen Hamilton. I started off our short session by explaining my research question and the many problems graduating college seniors are facing with respect to social networks like Facebook and finding employment. Mr. Tamburello seemed to be aware of the problem already and offered his own opinion on the issue. When I asked him if it was fair for companies to use profile information in the hiring process, he responded..."If you put it on the internet, its public. It is the responsibility of the proflie creator to censor their material. After all, the internet is a public forum of information so these kids need to take the necessary steps to protect themselves." When I asked him about profile hacking, and obtaining such information illegally, he stated..."If these companies are hacking, then it is a legal issue. If there is a hole in Facebook's terms of use policy, than it is a violation on their part." Now that I had Mr. Tamburello's opinion on the legality of the issue I turned to the ethical aspect and asked if he thought in general it was right for companies to use proflie information when making hiring decisions. Mr. Tamburello said, "It's not just technical qualifications we are looking for in an applicant. Companies want to know more about the candidate and a profile like those on Facebook can help to learn more about the person. It should not be the deciding factor, but another piece of the puzzle that we as employers must put together when making hiring decisions."
This was a very beneficial interview and is very useful in my research. I enjoyed chatting with Mr. Tamburello, who was very knowledgeable and insightful on the subject.

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