Checking Facebook profiles may not net companies best job candidates: Study

Raleigh, July 3 (ANI): Companies have increasingly started social media networks like Facebook to judge a job applicant for their traits but they may have a fundamental misunderstanding of a job applicant's online behaviour and as a result of which desirable candidates may be facing rejection, a new study has revealed.

The study conducted by Dr. Lori Foster Thompson and Will Stoughton of the North Carolina State University found that companies often scan a job applicant's Facebook profile to see whether there is evidence of drug or alcohol use, believing that such behavior means the applicant is not 'conscientious,' or responsible and self-disciplined.

However, the analysis shows that there is no significant correlation between conscientiousness and an individual's willingness to post content on Facebook about alcohol or drug use.

Will Stoughton, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of the paper said that as a result of this misinterpretation, companies are eliminating some conscientious job applicants based on erroneous assumptions regarding what social media behavior tells about the applicants.

According to the study, if companies are looking for extroverts, such as those hiring for sales or marketing positions, may be doing themselves an even worse disservice as extroverts were significantly more likely to post about drugs or alcohol on Facebook.

Therefore, the companies weeding out those applicants are likely to significantly limit the pool of job candidates who are extroverts.

The study found that study participants who rated high on both agreeableness and conscientiousness were also very unlikely to 'badmouth' or insult other people on Facebook.

Stoughton said that if employers plan to keep using social media to screen job applicants the study indicates that they may want to focus on eliminating candidates who badmouth others, and not necessarily those who post about drinking beer. (ANI)

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