Swedish recruiters check jobseekers on the net

40 percent of recruiters are checking potential employee’s social networking pages during the hiring process, a figure which has shot up from last year, according to a recent report.

Swedish recruiters check jobseekers on the net

“It’s advisable that people think twice about the self-image they allow on the net,” said Johan Treschow of the chamber of commerce, to Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The report, from the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (Handelskammaren) and the information company InfoTorg, has found that employers are keeping a very close eye on those applying for jobs.

In fact, one in four recruiters has used the social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook as a source over the last year, up from 33 percent the year before, and ten percent in 2008, when the surveys began.

The report comes from a survey of 892 companies, which was carried out in January this year.

The findings show that it is much more common for private companies to search for information on Facebook (42 percent) than public sector employers (32 percent).

As many people keep private Facebook accounts, researches noted that the statistics would be even higher if employers had access to the candidates’ information.

On top of the social networking background checks, the report showed that 97 percent of employers do reference checks, and 91 percent confirm their previous employment. 72 percent of employers confirm the candidate’s education.

“With every passing year, more companies are becoming conscious of the fact that Facebook and Google are resources in the controlling of job candidates. And so workers must think of what information they’re putting out there,” Treschow said to DN.

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Swedish student to face trial after anti-deportation protest that stopped flight

The Swedish student who livestreamed her onboard protest against the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker will go on trial on Monday.

Swedish student to face trial after anti-deportation protest that stopped flight
Elin Ersson. File photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Elin Ersson will appear at Gothenburg District Court, charged with violating Sweden’s Aviation Act.

Ersson protested in July last year against the Swedish government's policy of deporting some rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan by boarding an Istanbul-bound flight that carried an Afghan man who was to be returned home after being denied asylum.

With a ticket for the flight that was purchased by the activist group 'Sittstrejken i Göteborg', the activist boarded the aircraft and then refused to sit down until the Afghan man was let off. Flights are not allowed to take off until all passengers are safely in their seats.

Ersson livestreamed her protest on Facebook, where it was viewed over five million times.

Eventually, Ersson was told that the man would be let off the plane and she was also removed by airport security.

According to the prosecutor in the trial, which will take place Monday, Ersson acknowledges her actions in the incident but said her objections were based on her morals and argues that she did not act illegally as the plane was not in the air at the time of her protest.

“I believe that she is guilty of a crime which I can prove and which she will not admit. The court will therefore determine this,” prosecutor James von Reis told TT when charges were brought against the student.

In an interview with the news agency in July last year, Ersson was asked how she sees the view that her actions can be considered criminal.

“The key issue for me is that the man who was to be deported is human and deserves to live. In Sweden we do not have the death penalty, but deportation to a country which is at war can mean death,” she said.

The trial is expected to be completed within one day and Ersson’s defence has sent supplementary evidence to the court.

That consists of a legal statement by Dennis Martinsson, a lawyer in criminal law at Stockholm University. In the 13-page statement, Martinsson argues that the Aviation Act is phrased in a way which makes it questionable whether it is applicable to what Ersson did.

According to the legal expert, the relevant paragraph only applies to requests made by the aircraft’s commanding officer. Investigation of the incident found that Ersson was instructed to take her seat by “cabin crew on board”.

Further, the law states that criminal liability applies to passengers who do not comply with instructions “during a flight”, a description which Martinsson argues cannot be applied to an aircraft on the ground waiting to depart.

There is no precedent in interpretation of the law, he also writes according to TT’s summary.

The extent to which those arguments will affect the outcome of Monday’s case remains to be seen.

The penalty for violation of the Aviation Act is a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of six months.