Perusing social networking websites as part of employment screening tactics is a trend that’s catching on across several industries worldwide. But could using information gleaned from social media sites be an even better predictor of job success than traditional standardized tests used by human resources professionals to determine someone’s personality as it pertains to their aptitude and attitude?
A new study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology claims just that. The study found that a 10-minute review of a candidate’s Facebook profile page could yield not only red flags – past indicators of possible future problems – but also “an unvarnished look at a job candidate” and clues to “character and personality.”
The study involved trained “raters” who spent five to ten minutes evaluating 274 Facebook pages of job candidates and answering questions related to their personality. The researchers followed up six months later for performance reviews from the supervisors of 69 of the job candidates – approximately 25 percent of the original group – and found that the quick Facebook evaluations more accurately predicted success than standard IQ and personality tests.
The study doesn’t suggest employers should forgo the traditional background checks and employment verification processes in their employment screening protocols, but it does suggest that much of what we put online about our personal and professional lives can tell prospective employers a lot about us, and about whether we’d be a good fit for their company.