Companies Face Backlash Over Social Media Posts

A staffer at a Wisconsin manufacturer ridiculed a job seeker, while a Texas company made headlines for shaming another applicant.

Social media continues to make the human resource waters murkier than ever, especially when it comes to deciding what to share on your accounts, but also what companies peruse when considering new applicants.

While industry professionals, universities and even grade schools constantly remind children and professionals to think carefully about anything they post online, stories continue to pop up about social media, causing professional fracases. 

One of the latest stories comes from Waukesha, Wis.-based Castalloy, a company that produces high alloy castings. This story doesn't have to do with the applicant's social media, but rather an HR worker who posted the applicant's resume on her personal Facebook page and ridiculed it.

According to WDJT-TV, in late September, a person applying for a job at Castalloy submitted a resume that said he had a "GED in Biochemistry." The worker did cross out the applicant's name, but he still found out about the post. The HR worker didn't break the law, but it was highly unethical, according to industry professionals. 

It's not just the ridicule — you have to consider that the applicant might still be employed. Castalloy is investigating. 

In a similar story, 24-year-old Emily Clow was applying for a marketing position at Austin-based Kickass Masterminds, a company that helps small business owners and entrepreneurs. 

The company found a photo of the applicant in a bikini on Instagram and posted it with a warning to other applicants. The Masterminds post said, "PSA (because I know some of you applicants are looking at this) do not share your social media with a potential employer if this is the kind of content on it." It continues, "I am looking for a professional marketer — not a bikini model."

Backlash is an understatement. 

The post went viral, and as of press time, every Kickass Masterminds website and social media page redirects to a statement posted on Medium from company founder and CEO Sara Christensen. Christensen called the post an "error in judgment." She apologized for her behavior and called her actions a "great case study in what NOT to do."

Clow says she shared her story to start a dialogue about how employers use social media. 

We reached out to Castalloy, but the company did not respond to our requests for comment.

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