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Your Facebook Profile Can Predict Your Job Performance
February 25, 2012 5:56 PM   Subscribe

A new study shows that the nature of a person's Facebook profile can help predict the person's performance as an employee.
posted by reenum (50 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have no Facebook profile which means I'd be best employed as an International Man of Mystery. Sadly there are no openings.
posted by jonmc at 6:02 PM on February 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


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.”
LOL.
posted by delmoi at 6:03 PM on February 25, 2012 [21 favorites]


Sadly there are no openings.

Anymore.

I've already said too much.
posted by DU at 6:05 PM on February 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's alright.

*shakes (not stirs) vodka martini*
posted by jonmc at 6:05 PM on February 25, 2012


no worries, it's not like there's any openings anywhere else...
posted by rebent at 6:09 PM on February 25, 2012


That's nothing, your MetaFilter Profile can predict the sex of your next child (or your next kitty, whichever is most likely), who your spouse will have an affair with, and the date of your death.
posted by HuronBob at 6:12 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why are companies worried about legal action if they use information from Facebook to screen candidates? It's not like they have to divulge the real reason for not hiring (or firing) someone.
posted by steamynachos at 6:14 PM on February 25, 2012


"Those high in agreeableness are trusting and get along well with others, which may be represented in the extensiveness of personal information posted."

Oh. I see how it is.
posted by steamynachos at 6:17 PM on February 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yep. Soon, if you don't have a Facebook profile, your application will simply be tossed out. You're more work for the decision-makers when compared with other applicants, and besides, you'rr suspiciously anti-social, to boot.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:30 PM on February 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


Well my profile is private from people I'm not friends with, including wannabe Big Brother HR assholes. So I guess that proves I'm not retarded at least.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:31 PM on February 25, 2012 [19 favorites]


I actually recommend seeking out any "boss-level" co-workers and blocking them. That way you can befriend people you're actually friends with and not have to worry about showing up on their radar as a "mutual friend" and getting awkward requests.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:33 PM on February 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Every one of you is fired!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:33 PM on February 25, 2012


I could see this going either way:

On the one hand, my FB profile exhibits a lively sense of humor, boyish irreverence and an encyclopedic instinct for elaborate detail.

On the other hand, I'm really, really into poop jokes.
posted by R. Schlock at 6:34 PM on February 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


you have a right not to post on facebook, or Internet; anything you said may be used gainst you, anything you haven't said you must be hiding, and it may be used against you.
posted by elpapacito at 6:35 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well my profile is private from people I'm not friends with, including wannabe Big Brother HR assholes

Sure it is, drjimmy11, sure it is.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:36 PM on February 25, 2012


You can laugh now, but when the second interview goes to someone else based on their Farmville character...
posted by delfin at 6:36 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


AAGGGRHGH. I really hate press releases that tout unpublished studies. No one can fact check these fucking journalists using the author's, who actually have some credibility on the line, paper. For fucks sake, none of the three articles cite the name of the study they supposedly read or even mention the authors names so that one could find the article when it does eventually get released.

What is really depressing? If we believe the Baltimore Sun's claim that the paper was released exclusively to them, then that means everything else from the WSJ and Time was plagiarized directly from them. I think we can believe them because, if you look closely, the Sun had information that was not found in any of the other sources but it looks like none of the other sources, including the WSJ's bullshit video, had any information not found in the Sun. Watch that video in the WSJ link again, they're talking about a paper they could not have read using horrifically incomplete information the obtained second hand from another newspaper's article. If this is the case, the 'journalist' Leslie Kwoh can't honestly answer the question about who did the study, the most correct answer being the primary investigator, BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T KNOW.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2012 [25 favorites]


The only reason I joined FaceBook recently is to help further my career. My industry is looking for young, extroverted, social network saavy employees. I am careful of the image I project and I although it is set to private I have enough people in my friends list (that are actual friends and I like them!) that I am also networking for jobs with that I know HR people have had a look at it and my LinkedIn. It still mimics a lot of the old boy's network (it's not what you know but who you know), except that my network is expanded past the traditional school network that I have no access to.

I'm just hoping that for all the time I spend on minecraft servers I'll give a diamond to the right CEO and land an awesome job...
posted by saucysault at 6:39 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Researchers asked a university professor and two students to spend 10 minutes looking through the Facebook profiles"

Well I'm glad this is a definitive study on the topic. Here is my profile picture.
posted by JackarypQQ at 6:41 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blasdelb, the study was published Feb 1st after being presented at a conference a couple of months ago. I have a copy (actually putting it in my dissertation as we speak!) if you want to see it.
posted by saucysault at 6:44 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well my profile is private from people I'm not friends with, including wannabe Big Brother HR assholes.

You must be the rare individual FaceBook is working for.
posted by DU at 6:51 PM on February 25, 2012


They have already tried demanding your social-network password as a job requirement. This constant pushing for people's data will never cease.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's something about being an employer that turns a lot of people into total pieces of shit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:20 PM on February 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Who the hell would want to work for an organization where pinhead HR lackeys screen you according to your Facebook profile?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:21 PM on February 25, 2012


I really hate press releases that tout unpublished studies. No one can fact check these fucking journalists using the author's, who actually have some credibility on the line, paper. For fucks sake, none of the three articles cite the name of the study they supposedly read or even mention the authors names so that one could find the article when it does eventually get released.

Well said.
posted by exogenous at 8:32 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually what I've noticed is that it's become slightly awkward for me at work because I won't friend a coworker who has already friended other coworkers. She hasn't tried to ask me through Facebook, because I jokingly remarked that I only use it for family and old friends (not entirely true), but I have wondered if it didn't affect how she saw me. If I was a suckup type, I'd be friending people left and right. And never posting anything that could get me fired, which would make my FB extremly boring. Becuase I do make political comments on there, and even use cursewords, sometimes, OMG, which is not "professional." I block everyone who's not a friend, and google my name frequently, but there's no way to be sure something embarrassing or controversial won't be attached to my name at some point.

Thankfully, everyone at work is older than me and entirely baffled by Twitter, so no pressure on that side as of yet.

If HR departments are going to start demanding access to your social networking as a screening tool, then social networking will either become extremly boring or it will double; your real name accounts will be safely bland, and you'll post everything else under psuedonyms. It might actually hurt sites like FB and Google+ in the long run since they prefer real names. All the interesting stuff will go somewhere else.
posted by emjaybee at 8:46 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Keep in mind that if you are applying for a job that an actual (Facebook) friend works at, the employer can ask that person to see your profile.
posted by chrysanthemum at 8:46 PM on February 25, 2012


Bite-size summaries of Facebook studies round-up:
Does a Facebook profile show you someone's real personality?
What does your Facebook profile secretly say about your relationship?
Can I predict how happy you'll be in the coming years by looking at your Facebook profile?
Can a Facebook profile tell others how anxious you are?
Does Facebook make us miserable?
s it worth reconnecting with old acquaintances on Facebook and Linked In?
Do you end up liking what your Facebook friends like?
What are the top reasons for Facebook un-friending?
Does Facebook increase or decrease the amount of real social support you get?
Facebook: 7 Highly Effective Habits
posted by flex at 8:51 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Considering the last time I had a FB profile I was the "Marquis De Sade." It pretty much sums up my feelings towards work.
posted by Skygazer at 9:02 PM on February 25, 2012


I went into Facebook knowing that is my 'public' face so that's always stayed my hand when I wanted to post anything. And friend filters are indispensable.
posted by cendawanita at 9:33 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


New study shows Facebook activity is an excellent indicator of what percentage of future workday will be spent on Facebook.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:33 PM on February 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yep. Soon, if you don't have a Facebook profile, your application will simply be tossed out. You're more work for the decision-makers when compared with other applicants, and besides, you'rr suspiciously anti-social, to boot.

It's not soon, it's now. There are a whole bunch of people right here on metafilter who openly state that if they can't find information about an applicant on the Internet it's a mark against them.

I don't have a Facebook account because it is just one more way for employers to get into my personal business. At my old job my coworkers used to keep tabs on everyone through Facebook and tattle to management on things people did outside of work.
posted by winna at 10:09 PM on February 25, 2012


What does it say when your husband's secretary wants to friend you on Facebook? Personally, I told her no, that it wasn't appropriate, but that we should do lunch next time he's away. She didn't bother to reply.
posted by Goofyy at 10:40 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not soon, it's now. There are a whole bunch of people right here on metafilter who openly state that if they can't find information about an applicant on the Internet it's a mark against them.

I don't work in one of those fields, but if I did I would jump through those stupid hoops in the same way that I jump through equally silly but mostly unimportant hoops that apply to my field. If my field cared about my social networking, I would make it part of my job.

That said, I do sympathize with people who had thought that their online social networking was totally separate from their work, and then all of a sudden find out that it is a key part of their professional resume -- that would suck. But so is having your employer find out about other things you thought were private but weren't, so I'm not sure if this is genuinely different.
posted by Forktine at 10:45 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


We'll know this is serious when companies start "friending" and "defriending" instead of hiring & firing.
posted by chavenet at 11:09 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jokes on them. I spend most of my time at "work" fabricating Facebook friends and wall posts about how responsible and professional I am.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:43 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't have a FB profile exactly bcse of the (lack of) privacy controls. There are parts of my life (and friendship networks) that make me very happy, but are currently not appropriate to my work and educational life. They're not illegal (at least, not in any jursidiction where I live), nor do they involve questionable ethics, or minors, or animals. They're just not appreciated in some circles. If the folks I prefer to only see my public persona can't figure me out with some googling skills, then they don't need to know.

I ask my friends to never use my picture or real name in their FB posts. This works some of the time.

Having to hide any of my life, I thought, was something I could dispense with once I got away from my parents. I was all ready queer. I could be OUT! I could indulge in consensual whatever with whomever consented to it! I could dress as I pleased! (if it wasn't a health or safety hazard) And then... I left the computer industry. Now I have to create a closet I've never had as an adult. And not being on FB keeps the closet door at least somewhat closed.

But how will I find out about the next event I want to attend, and who will be there...? My friends still on FB. Oh.
posted by Dreidl at 12:01 AM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't have a Facebook profile either but I get to leap into that last opening left called "mysterious woman" - nyah!
posted by infini at 12:11 AM on February 26, 2012


It's not soon, it's now. There are a whole bunch of people right here on metafilter who openly state that if they can't find information about an applicant on the Internet it's a mark against them.

Internet != Facebook
posted by infini at 12:15 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What does it say when your husband's secretary wants to friend you on Facebook?

Threesome?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:24 AM on February 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well my profile is private from people I'm not friends with, including wannabe Big Brother HR assholes. So I guess that proves I'm not retarded at least.

And soon, not employable
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:40 AM on February 26, 2012


Who the hell would want to work for an organization where pinhead HR lackeys screen you according to your Facebook profile?

Probably every one of those thousands of people lined up for job openings at Foxconn ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:41 AM on February 26, 2012


Great, now we can get stalked by future employers, not just people who have actually met us.
posted by arcticseal at 5:03 AM on February 26, 2012


I don't give a flying fuck what I say on Facebook or twitter or anywhere else online. I won't hide any part of my personality or lifestyle to make me more 'professional' or employable. We aren't slaves to these people and frankly if I was refused work because a prospective employer saw a part of me they didn't like then neither of us would be happy with the other and I doubt I'd be working there long anyway.
posted by DuchessProzac at 8:24 AM on February 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Seems like all of this drama is easily avoidable by starting your own business.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:44 AM on February 26, 2012


I deleted my Facebook account a few years back and have never regretted that decision. And I will never have to apply for another job again, so screw you Zuckerberg and all of you "HR assholes". But if I did need to apply for a job I really like the idea of creating a Facebook profile with just "fake" friends that I invent and then make up all sorts of events and what-not that just serve to emphasize how awesome I really am.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:26 AM on February 26, 2012


drjimmy11: "Well my profile is private from people I'm not friends with, including wannabe Big Brother HR assholes. So I guess that proves I'm not retarded at least."

From your comment I can go to your MeFi profile then to your website, which has what I presume is your real name on it. How difficult would it be -- and this is an honest question, I don't know how these things work -- for a prospective employer to do the opposite? To go from your website to finding what sites link to it, and then to your MeFi profile?

P.S. Please don't use "retarded" that way. It's unnecessarily offensive.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:41 AM on February 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Facebook activity is an excellent indicator of what percentage of future workday will be spent on Facebook.

This.
posted by phooky at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


They have already tried demanding your social-network password as a job requirement. This constant pushing for people's data will never cease.
Pretty sure this is against the Facebook TOS. I'd love it if they would enforce it and kick people off Facebook for demanding passwords.
Who the hell would want to work for an organization where pinhead HR lackeys screen you according to your Facebook profile?
Maybe you want to pay the rent?
posted by delmoi at 2:55 PM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


From your comment I can go to your MeFi profile then to your website, which has what I presume is your real name on it. How difficult would it be -- and this is an honest question, I don't know how these things work -- for a prospective employer to do the opposite? To go from your website to finding what sites link to it, and then to your MeFi profile?
User profile pages are blocked from being indexed. Of course there are probably search engines that ignore those, but obviously not anything anyone would normally use.
posted by delmoi at 2:57 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


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