The Chicago Tribune’s Rex Huppke writes a great column entitled “I Just Work Here.” A recent article cites new research showing how Facebook can be the best predictor yet of an interviewee’s success on the job. We have quoted extensively from this article and spoken with a Chicago-based CPA firm regarding their use of this resource.
Interviewing people for a job is like an unsolvable riddle. We’re eternally in search of an interviewing process that guarantees hiring the ideal person. But we know from years of experience that perfection is unattainable because candidates know how to game the interview.
Huppke opines that a quick review of a Facebook profile can provide a better prediction of job success that personality and IQ tests. He bases this on new research by Donald Kluemper, a management professor at Northern Illinois University.
Several examples are cited by Kluemper:
• “People who are agreeable are trusting and get along well with others, which may be represented in the quantity of personal information posted.”
• “Openness is related to intellectual curiosity and creativity, which could be revealed by the variety of books, favorite quotations and other posts which show the user being engaged in creative endeavors.”
• “Extroverts interact frequently with others, which could be represented by the number of social network activities indicated in Facebook.”
The researchers followed up with candidates after six months. They got access to performance reviews from supervisors and used this as the indicator of success. Across the board, Facebook profiles more accurately predicted success than standardized tests.
Harry Steindler, partner at Chicago-area CPA firm SLSF and Hall of Fame Center Fielder for FERS, had this to share: “We look for people who had leadership roles in school, have outside interests such as athletics, music, reading, etc. and are open about themselves. I always look to see if a candidate is accessible on Facebook.”
Huppke opines quite rightly that this could be a harbinger of how our online lives continue to bleed into our professional ones.
Max Drucker, president of Social Intelligence Corp., suggests: “Interviewers should have clear criteria for what they’re looking for online.”
But for every yin, there is a yang.
“I don’t know that I have ever looked at Facebook information in any structured manner. Everyone uses social media in such different ways.”