As you might know, gentle reader, I left a full time position in October and started looking around for a new thing to do, whether that’s full time contracting again or another full time position. I’ve currently got part time project, so I have some freedom to take my time. Although given the pace of my interviews early on (and before I actually left my full time job), I expected to have caught on somewhere else by now. I’ve gone through several rounds of interviews with different companies only to be ghosted or brushed off with an automated email (and, I am pleased to say, I have also withdrawn from others when determining they’re not what I am looking for).
Given the state of the tech industry today, it crossed my mind that I might be an untouchable because of my political views which employers might have easy access to.
I mean, take a look at this blog running nearly twenty years now. In its early days, I was pretty political, mocking Democrats a bunch and being snarky rather than reasoned. However, that’s gotten boring over time as my perspective has changed but the eternal struggle between the individual and all sorts of collectives do not. I still textually shake my head at various diktats and make mock of certain actions or ideas, so someone doesn’t have to go far into the archives to learn I am a wingnut.
I have seen some visitors during this time that hit the blog on the front page, go through some archives, and then never return. Recruiter? HR? I wonder.
I also have a ten-year-old Facebook presence. Facebook has pegged me as Extremely Conservative, which is not particularly nuanced in my libertarian but voting Republican in this First Past The Post electoral system philosophy. However, it’s one data point that I could see and that is quite likely available to Facebook customers and unknown applications perhaps in the hiring industry.
So. Does that impede me behind the scenes?
Well, given the state of the industry, this story kind of backs up my paranoid internal conspiracy imaginings:
The business world’s discrimination against anything “Trump” has reached an epidemic level, touching former aides to the president, anybody pictured near the Jan. 6 Capitol protest, and now those who endorsed him on social media posts.
A new survey of hiring managers provided to Secrets found that backing Trump on social media is the top reason to reject a job applicant.
The apparent reason: Human resources departments want to avoid “tiffs” between employees.
“Likely to avoid future office tiffs, a significant portion of hiring managers admitted to negatively judging candidates based on the political content posted. For 27% of hiring managers, social media posts endorsing Donald Trump for president would negatively impact their decision to hire a candidate,” read the analysis of the poll done for Skynova, an online business software company.
Yeah, well. (Story via Behind the Black.)
I guess I could worry about the algorithms behind the scenes keeping a man down, but that’s rather akin to worrying about the wee folk tying my shoelaces together (although, not to be pollyannish, as the algorithms could be real). I can’t control that. And, upon further review of my job application tracking spreadsheet that runs back six years, I really haven’t gotten a lot of job offers through the blind Internet box submissions. Most of my work comes from people I know or previous clients. So I can’t blame the recent political atmosphere.
At any rate, I have often said that a company that has HR staff is too large for my startup tastes, and this is still true. Something will turn up, and until it does, I need to enjoy Travis McGee-like bits of semiretirement while it lasts.