Facebook Not Ideal To Judge Potential Employees

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 07, 2014

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Social recruiting is a popular hiring buzzword today and companies are stepping up their recruiting presence on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in search of entry-level and experienced talent. However, in case of Facebook where users juggle between personal and professional goals, the hiring rules should be different, believe researchers.

According to a new study employers who are using Facebook to decide whether someone is worth hiring may need to think twice before they use it. The research, carried out by researchers at Florida State University, Old Dominion University, Clemson University and Accenture, found that the content on a person’s Facebook profiles has no bearing on their overall job performance.

The study involved candidates applying for full-time jobs, who allowed the researchers to capture screenshots of their Facebook walls, info pages, photos and interests. The researchers then asked recruiters to view these pages, judge the personality of each student and rate how employable they appeared, without providing any further information about them. In the subsequent months, the researchers followed up with the candidate’s supervisor and asked them to review their job performance. In nearly 80% cases they found that the Facebook profile ratings “correlated essentially zero with job performance.”

According to the study, those who got low scores either had profanity, photos of people at parties or drinking, strange profile pictures, religious quotes and sexual references. Women were rated higher than men and white applicants scored more than non-white. However, these parameters have nothing to do with a person’s job performance or capability. The study therefore recommends against recruiters using Facebook for hiring until it’s proven that it’s a reliable indicator for job performance.

LinkedIn in fact has a much greater standing when it comes to hiring candidates because it mostly displays the candidate’s professional work and achievements. Facebook on the other hand has a thin line margin between professional and personal life. And moreover, if a person is a social drinker or watches a particular type of film or show, it need not have a positive or negative impact on his work, believe researchers.

As Pritha Choudhuri, CEO and Co-founder Analytics Quotient states that social media analytics should not be seen as a standalone activity. Rather it should be viewed as part of a larger digital strategy. So, it is definitely a powerful tool for companies, but its real benefit will become evident when combined with analytics forms and methods for collecting and evaluating such information are shown to be reliable and valid greater value.