New Research Adds More Reason To Using Facebook Profiles To Assess Job Candidates
It’s now common knowledge that people at the human resource offices of companies sometimes look at the social network profiles of candidates as part of the job application process. Now, new research suggests that looking at social network profiles of applicants may be an effective way to gauge their future performance. In fact, this new study reveals that this can be so effective that it even trumps standardized written personality tests.
The news comes from a research which results will be published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. The story was first picked up by the Baltimore Sun.
The study worked this way. Two students and a university professor were asked by the researchers to take 10 minutes skimming through the Facebook profiles of college students who were currently employed. These raters were given two hours training on how to assess a Facebook page, the Sun reports.
The “panel: was then made to answer personality-related questions about the people they just browsed the Facebook profiles of. These questions included whether they think the person was emotionally stable or dependable.
Fast forward six months and the researchers got job performance reviews for those people whose Facebook profiles were examined by the panel.
What the researchers found was that the Facebook screening was more accurate in predicting success on the job than if standardized tests were used. These standardized tests are the types of personality assessment tests companies give their prospect employees.
“I think one of the differences is that you change the frame of reference,” Donald Kluemper, one of the lead researchers of the study, told the Baltimore Sun.
“You’re asking the rater, ‘Is this person a hard worker?’ On a personality test, the employee would be asked, ‘How hard a worker are you?’ One of the criticisms of self-reporting personality testing is that it can be faked. On a Facebook page, that’s a lot harder to do,” the Northern Illinois University management professor added.
This brings us to the possibility – which, because of this study, I’m betting has just become likely a certainty – that your Facebook profile can make or break your job application in the future. And because of this, everyone – those who want great jobs at least – should be careful what they post on their social network profiles from now on.
However, I have a thought about this research and its implications. Yes, it may hasten the standardization of the use of social network profiles in the job application process. However, there is just this one thing. Prof. Kluemper said that it’s harder to fake your personality as revealed through your social network profile than it is when you’re taking a standardized written personality test. But given that this research has been carried by the media, will we see an influx of social network profiles specifically made to be gleaming specimens exalting the owner of the page so that they will get the job they want?
What do you think about this development? Tell us more in the comments below.
Source: Baltimore Sun