Facebook profiles can predict job success

Apr 13 2014, 22:04 IST
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Bosses, note! If you want to know how job candidates will perform after they are hired, checking out their Facebook page may be a good idea. Reuters Bosses, note! If you want to know how job candidates will perform after they are hired, checking out their Facebook page may be a good idea. Reuters
SummaryBosses, note! If you want to know how job candidates will perform after they are hired, checking out their Facebook page may be a good idea.

Bosses, note! If you want to know how job candidates will perform after they are hired, checking out their Facebook page may be a good idea.

A candidate's Facebook profile can predict whether they will be good at their job, according to a new study.

Researchers from Old Dominion University in Virginia found that looking at Facebook profiles for job performance indicators can be just as - if not more - accurate as self-reported personality tests.

The study compared personality traits gleaned from Facebook profiles to job candidates' self-reported personality tests, to see which method was a better predictor of job performance.

"Not only can you find very current information on someone's social media profile, but you can also access a record of that person's past behaviour," said Katelyn Cavanaugh, one of the study's authors and a doctoral student at Old Dominion.

"There is value in that; we cannot capture someone's history in a single personality test," Cavanaugh said.

Richard Landers, an Old Dominion assistant professor and the study's co-author, said social media gives employers a realistic photograph of the person, so the information is more authentic than what a personality test can reveal, 'Business News Daily' reported.

"On self-report measures, applicants can generally figure out what the company wants them to be and answer to reflect that. On social media, that's much harder," he said.

While employers can learn a lot about potential hire from social media, the researchers said there are some legal concerns, especially when it comes to looking at profiles containing information about protected characteristics, such as race, age and sexual orientation.

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