HR manager smoked out for posting CV on LinkedIn

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A HR manager was forced out of his job after posting his CV on LinkedIn and ticking the ‘interested in career opportunities’ box, a tribunal in the UK has heard.

In the first case of its kind, John Flexman filed a complaint claiming constructive dismissal against his former employer BG Group, a gas exploration company where he had been employed for eight years.

While he was on annual leave, Flexman claimed he was contacted by his employer and ordered to remove his CV from the professional networking site. Upon his return to work, he was called to attend an internal disciplinary hearing over his “inappropriate use of social media”.

The firm said that by ticking the career opportunities box, Flexman was in breach of a new company policy on conflicts of interest.

Additionally, the HR manager was accused of inflating his role and achievements and misrepresenting the company in order to portray himself in a positive light, presumably to further his career.

The lawyer representing BG Group at the tribunal said, “In effect what you were saying was 'what a terrible place this is but what a great job I've done”.

Flexman said that the company had tried to smoke him out by offering three months wages to leave, without him initiating such a negotiation – in contravention of employment law.

However, Flexman, in cross-examination by the company at the tribunal, conceded he went into “too much detail” on the CV, which was publicly open for anybody to view. “What I should have done in hindsight was give it a bit more consideration as to what content I put on the website,” he said. “But did I do it to further my career? That's absolute nonsense.”

Flexman also claimed that 21 of his colleagues, including the manager of the disciplinary process, had ticked the box but had not been disciplined. The dispute led to Flexman's resignation in June 2011.

A spokesman for the company said “BG Group has no issue with employees posting CVs on LinkedIn or any other site.”

The hearing is currently underway.

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