Facebook as a genuine assessment of a candidates personality?

As a recruiter or hiring manager how do you know whether the candidate you’re considering for your opening is genuine?  Have they embellished their background a bit?  Have they shielded you from their true personality or engaged in some other form of innocent (or not so innocent) deception in order to get the job?  Anyone who has has the responsibility for hiring new employees has probably run across a situation or two in which they ended up hiring someone who wasn’t exactly what they thought they were getting. 

While a good recruiter can cut through most of the BS, methods of assessing the true nature of a candidate with near-perfect certainty are unavailable.  While some organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to assess candidates, there might be some more cost effective and less error-prone methods of assessment – Facebook. 

I came across an interesting article on the New York Times website the other day which cited results of a study conducted by a Psychologist from the University of Texas supporting the potential of Facebook as a tool to help more accurately assess an individual’s personality.  While there were many interesting findings of the study the key point that I found to be interesting is that individuals are less likely to stretch the truth in a social media forum where their friends can dispute their boasts.

While not a silver bullet in the candidate assessment process by any stretch of the imagination, this further solidifies the use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms as an excellent method of validation of a candidate’s fit for a role.  When combined with more traditional assessment tools recruiters and hiring managers can feel more confident in their hiring decisions without having to invest any extra money.

2 thoughts on “Facebook as a genuine assessment of a candidates personality?

  1. Hi Bryon,

    Facebook as a way to measure a candidate's qualifications is a tricky proposition in my mind. Yes, you get a more complete picture because they tend to be less guarded but how do you verify the info? Also, how much of a person's character can be said to directly correlate to their success at the job?

    If we're asking candidate's' to be more transparent then it makes sense that companies do the same. I recently proposed an alternative to the current recruitment model here: http://humancapitalleague.com/Home/451

    Thanks for the post Bryon!

  2. @Victorio – thanks for the comment. While clearly there's faults with relying on social media for character validation, it does provide another tool in your toolbox as a recruiter.

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