Over the years, HR departments have gotten used to taking advantage of social media to vet potential new hires. MySpace was good, but Facebook is better. They loved it. However, with the cavalcade of stories talking about security breeches and identity theft, many people have taken advantage of the privacy policies to prevent people from their Facebook profiles. Suddenly, all that tasty information wasn't as available as it used to be.
What is an HR rep to do? Apparently, they're just demanding your passwords. Failing that, they want you to log in and let them snoop around your profile. Major businesses are demanding that access. State and Federal government agencies. Some colleges are demanding it of their students before allow them to participate in clubs or sports.
Remember, this is process where the recruiter already has unprecedented access into your life. Your resume has a ton of information about you, they typically get a background check sometimes including a criminal history, and most places pull a credit check. That's a lot of info to go along with phone screenings and actual interviews. My particular field generally goes further than that with other types of checks as well. And these rectal warts want MORE?
Let me say this loud and clear. I want to make sure the cheap seats get it. If you do this:
My Facebook page is barren of personal posts, and contains only minimal information on me. None of my friends are dope fiends, and they don't post anything that I would be embarrassed for a recruiter to see. But the odds of me let them wonder around my profile page are about 1 in a hundred million. Which is admittedly better odds than they would have of me giving them my password (1 in a hundred billion).
The entire idea is repulsive. Beyond the violation of my personal space and privacy, it opens a huge door to abuse. It gives those HR reps the ability to discriminate on things like interracial marriage, political party alignment, sexuality, NRA membership, music tastes, age, and any number of other things. Some of those are illegal to discriminate on, but would be damn near impossible to prove once you'd given them access to Facebook.
I'm looking at this calmly from the perspective of a person that generally is able to find jobs. But I've had lengthy unemployed stretches before. I really think my answer now would be the same as my answer if I was much more desperate:
Truthfully, I hope the only people that actually bow down to this type of behavior are truly desperate. Last straw, financially broke, nearly evicted people that simply have no other choice. I can appreciate that. But everyone else should as far away as possible. If they don't respect your privacy during the hiring process, then they won't respect it later either.
So no. You can't fucking have my Facebook password. And you're not going to get to take a peek at my profile. Fuck you. Fuck your job. Fuck your company. And fuck off.