Given the intimate role the Internet now plays in the hiring process, and the damage that a few negative comments in cyberspace can do to a person’s job prospects, and reputation, we’re not surprised that a service like ReputationDefender has now arrived on the scene.
Simply put, the founders of this organization provide a service where they scour the Internet for all the information available on a given individual, then work with the person to eliminate any news, postings, or other data out there that the person doesn’t want published — and feels might damage their reputation or chances for employment. This can include content that the individual (or their children) have published on the Web themselves, and now regret making public, or scurrilous information that other parties have posted without approval. Either way, ReputationDefender claims to be able to employ a variety of technical and legal strategies to “destroy” this unwanted content — at price points that range from $59.95 and higher, depending on how much information needs to be eliminated.
And in the end, while we haven’t yet had a client try out this service, and can’t speak to the level of the company’s effectiveness at delivering on their claims, we are certainly heartened to see that a professional firm now exists to help job candidates deal with this issue. Over the years, we’ve definitely encountered people whose career success was being impacted by negative information posted about them on the Web — and we expect this trend to go nowhere but up, given the vast terabytes of on-line data that continue to be collected on almost all working professionals. What can we say? It’s a brave new world out there… :)