Big Brother is watching: Employers scour job-seekers’ social media for ‘character flaws’

A new study reveals what employers hunt for on social media when they are looking at job applicants, and it doesn’t have anything to do with job skills.

It’s all about their character and social lives, including detecting substance abuse and their attitudes about themselves and others. Traits such as “self-absorption” and “opinionatedness” are part of the analysis.

“A sample of 436 hiring managers evaluated experimentally manipulated hypothetical Facebook candidate profiles,” the study explained. “The results demonstrated that content related to each construct had a negative impact on person-organization fit and overall candidate evaluation.

“Moreover, self-absorption had the largest negative effects. Older hiring managers more heavily weighted less opinionated content with respect to overall candidate evaluation and content without alcohol and drug use for person-organization fit.

“Without question, social networking sites have become a central avenue for individuals to communicate about themselves, share content on a wide variety of topics, and connect with others,” the study said.


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