Monday, March 19, 2012

What Employers Can Learn About You From Facebook

In a prior post, I have discussed how inappropriate pictures posted on Facebook could support an employee's dismissal. However, a positive Facebook profile may help you get hired in the first place. A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology indicates that reveiwing the social media profiles of a prospective employee may allow employers to closely approximate the results of standard personality testing. The study also indicates that information from social networking sites may be a better predictor of job success than IQ tests.   A similar study by University of Maryland Assistant Professor Jennifer Golbeck revealed similar results. According to Professor Golbeck:

There’s a lot of research out there that’s of interest to employers and businesses, about what a person’s personality says about their potential for job success and their ability to work in a team, and a lot of companies make people take personality tests. If we can get pretty accurate results just by looking at someone’s social media profile, then you have the potential to apply all those results about what personality implies about a person, without actually having to have them take a test. So there’s some good sides to that, and some potentially creepy sides. I’m not a legal expert, and I don’t know the details of that, but employers are certainly looking at all the social media that’s available about their potential employees, and people really need to keep that in mind.

Of course, the results of the review may not always be beneficial to the applicant. But this study gives us another example of the way that technology and social media stretches traditional notions of privacy.

Click here or on the image below to see a report discussing the value of personality tests in hiring:

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