A study from researchers at Florida State University, Old Dominion University, Clemson University, and Accenture, suggests Facebook is bunk as a job performance predictor. The study involved the recruitment of 416 college students who were applying for full-time jobs and agreed to let the researchers capture screenshots of their Facebook Walls, Info Pages, Photos and Interests. The researchers asked 86 recruiters who attended the university’s career fair to review the Facebook pages, judge the fresh-faced seniors’ personality traits and rate how employable they seemed. Each recruiter looked at just five of the candidates, and got no other information about them. A year later, the researchers followed up with the now-graduates’ supervisors and asked them to review their job performance. “Recruiter ratings of Facebook profiles correlate essentially zero with job performance,” write the researchers. The recruiters looking at Facebook profiles tended to rate women higher than men, and white individuals higher than African-American and Hispanic candidates. But those ratings were not predictors of their actual job performance. “Our results suggest that Blacks and Hispanics might be adversely impacted by use of Facebook ratings,” says researcher Philip Roth of Clemson. (The equally disturbing possibility here is that we’d see the same thing when those recruiters interviewed those people in person.) Roth says that human resources staff should warn managers away from using Facebook to review their applicants.

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