March 1, 2012

Facebook Profile Reviews Predicting Your Career Success

The recent study released by "Journal of Applied Social Psychology” in February 2012 shows that Facebook can be used as a tool in defining a person’s potential career and academic success.

The study called “Social Networking Websites, Personality Ratings and the Organizational Context: More Than Meets the Eye?” released by Donald Kluemper, of Northern Illinois University, and Kevin Mossholder of Auburn University attempts to validate the utility of these screening methods, which can be considered a violation of personal privacy.

A total of 274 Facebook profiles were reviewed with each review running an average of five to 10 minutes, to evaluate five important traits: conscientiousness, openness to experience, extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness.

The researchers followed up with the job candidates after six months and got performance reviews from the supervisors of 69 of them, about 25 percent of the original group. The ratings obtained from looking at Facebook profiles provided a more accurate predictor of future job performance than the scores from the self-evaluation questionnaire.

"I think one of the differences is that you change the frame of reference," Kluemper said. "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."

"This research is just a first step in that direction" Lead Researcher said in NIU.

The new approach has thoughtful inferences, showed Facebook could be used as a job applicant-screening tool, but, first, additional research and resolution of related legal issue would be needed.

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