With the growing popularity of social-networking sites and the increasing propensity for people to post all sort of information about themselves publicly online, there have been plenty of stories about how it can come back to haunt jobseekers. But in an interesting reversal, some sites are Web-2.0-ing the old Vault.com "bitch about your boss" idea to use similar tools to try to get some inside dirt on potential employers. One job-search site is relaunching with some social networking-like features where instead of connecting to make friends or get dates, jobseekers can get in touch with them to ask questions about their company. Of course, all this relies on employees actually caring enough to use the system, and giving honest information about their place of work, and perhaps their superiors. But with lots of employers monitoring employees' computer use, it's doubtful that too many workers would want to open themselves up to being directly contacted by strangers to talk openly about their employer -- particularly when some companies are even firing or suing employees for talking bad about them online. Perhaps the real lesson here is that instead of worrying about what their employees might say on a job board, hiring managers should just keep their pictures of swingers parties and tales of humiliating employees out of their MySpace profiles. After all, if they're doing Google background checks on applicants, the potential hires are probably looking them up, too.
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