Online Public Image

Do your household employees think that their email address or the information on their MySpace or Facebook profile won’t impact their professional image or their ability to keep their job?

They need to think again.

While having an online profile is all the rage and everyone has an email account, the details of this information could be more important to your employee’s professional image and your family than you or they may realize.

(While this is based on a true story, the names and details have been changed.  The actual family and Nanny were not associated with Town & Country Resources.)

Allyssa thought she’d found her dream Nanny job.  In her first meeting with the family there was an immediate connection and sense of comfort.  The three days she did as a working trial went perfectly.  The salary was great, it was a 15-minute commute from her house and the five-year-old boy shared Allyssa’s love of soccer.

The family also thought they’d found their dream Nanny and were just pulling together the details of the offer when they decided to do a little Internet searching on her.  Sure enough, they found a MySpace account open to the public.  Not only did Allyssa describe crazy all-night parties on a recent trip to Mexico with her friends, she also talked at length about the family she used to work for and specifically about the list of things that bugged her about the job.

For the family, it was a rude awakening.  They were shocked by the new information they now had about Allyssa’s personal life.  Worse, the lack of discretion and good judgment she had shown in violating her previous employers’ privacy was inexcusable.  They now knew two things, that Allyssa wasn’t getting the job offer and that Internet research would now be part of what they would do on each potential hire.

Your employee might think they are okay because they don’t happen to have a MySpace or FaceBook profile, but don’t forget about the rest of their public image.  A simple search on Google or Yahoo! may reveal things they didn’t even know were there and would prefer to keep private.

  • Is their email address suggestive or otherwise unprofessional?
  • Does their voice mail greeting have music or anything other than a brief, professional and short voice message?
  • If they do have a profile on MySpace or FaceBook, they should make it private by requiring pre-approved viewers to log in.  (This is a simple setting they can do on their account.)  As an employer, you may want to add checking candidates’ online information into your due diligence process, and also ask that all information about your family be kept strictly private by your employee.

Here at Town & Country, we always do an online search of each of our candidates, as well as provide helpful tips and awareness to both our client s and candidates in regards to a candidate’s online public image.

When looking to hire a household employee, it is worth the extra effort to do some research online.  Especially when searching for a job, employees need to take the time to make sure their public image is something they, and the family that they will be working for, can be proud of.