Employers may misjudge job applicants based on Facebook pages - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Employers may misjudge job applicants based on Facebook pages

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com © iStockphoto.com

FRIDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Companies may be looking at the wrong things when using Facebook to screen job applicants and, as a result, could be overlooking people who would be good employees, a new study suggests.

It is common for employers to assess potential job candidates for certain personality traits, such as conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion. For the study, researchers measured these traits in 175 people and also looked at their Facebook behaviors.

The findings might surprise many corporate human resources officials, according to the North Carolina State University investigators.

"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," study co-author and psychology professor Lori Foster Thompson, said in a university news release.

However, the study found no significant link between conscientiousness and a person's willingness to post content on Facebook about alcohol or drug use.

"This means companies are eliminating some conscientious job applicants based on erroneous assumptions regarding what social media behavior tells us about the applicants," study lead author and Ph.D. student Will Stoughton said in the news release.

Discounting job candidates because they've posted alcohol- or drug-related content on Facebook may be an especially bad idea for companies looking for extroverts to fill jobs in areas such as sales or marketing, the researchers noted.

Extroverts were significantly more likely to have postings about alcohol or drugs than others in the study. So companies that bypass these applicants will have a much smaller pool of job candidates who are extroverts.

There was a strong association between one type of Facebook behavior and agreeableness and conscientiousness. People who rated highly on both those personality traits were very unlikely to insult other people on Facebook.

"If employers plan to keep using social media to screen job applicants, this study indicates they may want to focus on eliminating candidates who badmouth others -- not necessarily those who post about drinking beer," Stoughton said.

The study was published online July 1 in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

More information

The Electronic Privacy Information Center focuses on privacy issues in the information age.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • 2 boaters found dead in Lake Erie; 2 more missing

    2 boaters found dead in Lake Erie; 2 more missing

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:49:32 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say the bodies of two of four missing boaters in western Lake Erie have been recovered off the Ohio shoreline. Officials say they recovered the bodies of two females Thursday.More >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say the bodies of two of four missing boaters in western Lake Erie have been recovered off the Ohio shoreline. Officials say they recovered the bodies of two females Thursday.More >>
  • Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Police stepped up patrols near the Boston Marathon finish line after a masked man walked in the street with a rice cooker in his backpack only hours after the city marked the anniversary of last year's deadly...More >>
    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.More >>
  • Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:34:39 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms