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Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the too-bad-they-don't-realize-that dept.

Businesses 209

New submitter sfcat writes "Companies, headhunters and recruiters increasingly are using social media sites like Facebook to evaluate potential employees. Most of this is due to a 2012 paper from Northern Illinois Univ. that claimed that employee performance could be effectively evaluated from their social media profiles. Now a series of papers from other institutions reveal exactly the opposite result. 'Recruiter ratings of Facebook profiles correlate essentially zero with job performance,' write the researchers, led by Chad H. Van Iddekinge of FSU (abstract). Not only did the research show the ineffectiveness of using social media in evaluating potential employees, it also showed a measurable biases of the recruiters against minorities (African-American and Latino) and against men in general."

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Color me shocked (5, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | about 9 months ago | (#45869599)

So a profession with no psychology background can't successfully evaluate peoples' personal statements and associations as a proxy for their professional competence? They're failing to do what even actual psychologists struggle with?

Wow. Who'd have seen that coming.

Re:Color me shocked (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869665)

Any employer basing its decision to hire me based on social network profiles is not an employer I'd like to have. I don't have a FB profile and I don't see a reason to start now. My current employer seems to agree. During the interview I was honest and upfront about it, even though they didn't ask I told them straight away "I know companies these days scour prospective emplyee social network profiles, but the thing is I'm not on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, tumblr, whatever-it-is-the-site-of-the-day". Their responsa was "We have no interest in your private life".

I do have a profile on Linkedin, which I update regularly, though. And by regularly I mean probably once a month, or so. The only other remotely social networking I do is flickr. I do have an account, which I use to share photos and discuss photography with other enthusiasts like myself.

Re:Color me shocked (2, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45869681)

"I know companies these days scour prospective emplyee social network profiles, but the thing is I'm not on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, tumblr, whatever-it-is-the-site-of-the-day". Their responsa was "We have no interest in your private life".

Sounds like a good company.

Re:Color me shocked (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 9 months ago | (#45870349)

It is because it has experienced management in place. The companies that have fresh Grads from Business Management colleges are the ones that have the fools that think that your facebook profile is important.

The #1 problem with all companies in the past decade. Putting a snot nosed 20 somethings in a management position. I don't care if they have a PHD in something, they are stupid in regards to managing people. The ONLY way to learn how to manage people is by doing it and that takes time. Honestly Management age brackets should start at 35 years old as the YOUNGEST unless they prove themselves to be some kind of people management savant.

Otherwise you get these idiotic ideas that digging into your employees personal life has any relevancy to their work life. I have worked places where these idiots out of college tried to make everyone post something positive about he company daily on their Facebook/etc as a part of your employment. They claimed it was for "morale boosting". It was simply an attempt at free marketing.

Re:Color me shocked (3, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 9 months ago | (#45871163)

Wait, so your solution to young managers not having experience is to delay them getting experience until they're older? How does that solve anything apart from pissing on young people?

Re:Color me shocked (3, Interesting)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 9 months ago | (#45869801)

Same here, potential future employers are not going to find me on any social network. And if I were a recruiter, I'd probably consider having extensive profiles online a negative quality -- indicative of spending too much time posing and not enough actually working.

Re:Color me shocked (5, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 9 months ago | (#45870045)

And if I were a recruiter, I'd probably consider having extensive profiles online a negative quality -- indicative of spending too much time posing and not enough actually working.

Yeah, those horrible employees that have evenings and weekends where they can do things other than working for you, how dare they.

Stick with the simplest, what people do in their own time is their own concern.

Re:Color me shocked (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#45870809)

If you don't have a FB presence, you will be rejected for being an "unfavorable fit with company culture," which is of course their legally acceptable terminology for "being over 30."

Biases (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869617)

I could have told you the biases off the top of my head. The anti-minority, anti-male headhunter is nothing new. Most headhunters are female and white, though several headhunter companies I have done business with are minority run and almost exclusively monochromatic (i.e. all black, all hispanic). They all have biases in general against men, BUT this seesaws to the other side as they are hiring for increasingly technical or executive positions as they rather play the odds that the person is hired and they get their commission.

Headhunting and HR both crack me up from an ethical standpoint. They are generally paid a notch higher at each position for similar work than others in the company, precisely because they discuss / are aware of pay levels throughout the company. Second, they are the biggest hen houses of racism, sexism, and gossip. In my experience they also have the highest consistency of just one or two "<insert race> <insert backup race> male" twofer/threefers to not seem like there is a problem.

Disclosure: The MSP I used to work at hosts some recruiting / temporary worker management applications.

Re: Biases (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869643)

They are biased against men because if they hire to many men they get hit with a discrimination lawsuit (of course, hiring all women would because perfectly fine in this feminized age) This is even true when the men are more qualified (and if equally qualified, I'd always choose a man over a younger woman because he won't miss time die to childbirth. Unless of course the woman is sexy and it's a position wherever that would benefit, like sales or bartender)

Re:Biases (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 9 months ago | (#45869687)

"Monochromatic" ---- very interesting descriptive term.

Human resources is with little doubt one of those necessary evils, and acts as a firewall against the unwashed masses which includes quite a mix of people ranging from liars to incompetent to "don't understand the market", etc. And the nature of the work means constantly dealing with people you have never seen before.

Re:Biases (3, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#45869829)

I don't think anyone is suggesting HR is not necessary but to continue your analogy:
If the the HR / recruiting firm pairing at some places I have worked was a firewall/IPS pair it would:

Have an insanely high false negative rate frequently forwarding malicious traffic with will known signatures

Drop large amounts of legitimate traffic to important assets like the web farm, with log events of "just because, or I don't remember why".

Forward traffic originally destine for other unused address to live hosts without any filtering to meet some minimum number of resumes^H^H^H^H connections setups.

Interpret it policy rules on a per connection basis, frequently with different and non-deterministic results and log nothing.

Is anyone surprised? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 9 months ago | (#45869621)

Problems with using social media aside, headhunters are fucking lazy morons. I've never personally had to deal with them, thankfully, but one of my friends, being a consultant, does often and they are universally wastes of flesh. They are not concerned with trying to find the best candidate for the job, carefully vetting resumes and checking experience. Rather they are interested in finding someone as fast as possible and mating them with a job so they can get their fee. They rarely have the faintest idea of what they are talking about in terms of technical requirements and so on.

So ya, I'm sure this doesn't help. Particularly since what people put on their social networking sites varies a ton. Some people have lots of work related things, some have none. Doesn't really translate to job performance, just to what they like to share or not share.

Sounds like more what they are doing, particularly based on the discrimination report, is finding people they think "look good" meaning largely white and particularly good looking female, and sending them on.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869823)

Head hunters dont find the best person for the job.. the hiring manager / HR department does. The head hunter filters through 100s of resumes to find a candidate as quickly as possible. Usually the window of opportunity is hours after a position has been made open.

HR usually works with a group of recruiters and they go out very quickly and responses for candidates come in quickly. It's very cut throat, no time to messing around filtering 1000s into 100s then into 10s with a fine tooth comb, if you tick the boxes the headhunter needs to move within minutes.

Now add to the vagueness of some of the job descriptions i have seen it's very difficult with IT roles as technologies change very often. Sometimes the hiring manager doesnt even know what they need; they just need a "Linux guy with the right attitude"... now to express that to the headhunter to find the right guy... it's tough.. there's usually a ton of people in the database that has linux on it... but will never click with culture of the company, which is another key decision maker... If there are problems with personality type then they need to be noted to the HR dept as culture thing... I met some technically brilliant people while I was recruiting, but they would never match with the culture of the company, you try to do as much as you can, but sometimes being the right person for the job means being able to fit in to the company as well.

Also most recruiters look for many roles in an organisation, it's very difficult for them to the technically competent in all roles they recruit for. So being on good terms with good recruiters help, as you can flesh out what companies and what positions will be go for you; and at the end of the day a lot of times they will earn you new job and pay rise.

Bad recruiters.. well.. errr.. good luck.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (2)

Justpin (2974855) | about 9 months ago | (#45869831)

I would have to agree, I see job adverts from recruiters which are simply jobs taken off company websites with the name removed. Or they will quote obsolete standards, qualifications and software you need to be able to use. Years ago VDU operator, was really common, as they used the old trope monitor = computer.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

swb (14022) | about 9 months ago | (#45869977)

In some ways, though, isn't typical behavior in the job seekers favor? It's hard to have the incentives more in your favor than a job screener looking for a paycheck to put you in a job.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (2)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 9 months ago | (#45870011)

They're not lazy. They're smart.

They know they get paid for the people hired. The more shots in the dark the more people hired and the more commissions.

Just another example of incentives that cause bad behavior instead of good behavior.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870063)

It's even worse. If social media site presence become more important for filtering out potential employee candidates, what happens, AS WITH EVERYTHING ELSE INVOLVED WITH LIVING AND SENTIENT BEINGS, is cause and effect, karma, or my personal preference of concept: consequences

The consequences becomes more time spent by the human race maintaining fake and bogus social media site profiles, alot of time-consuming work spent on something very similar to search engine optimization (SEO), just to have the chance to land a job.

So the consequences of using social media site profiles as a "metric" of _any_ sort, is more even waste, more bogus, more misplaced focus and with the end result being, the very "metric" optimized away from showing any kind of useful information in the end anyway.

It doesn't help to teach jobless people brush up their CVs or cut salaries, if companies prefer to lend out money to foreign debors and creating bubbles, rather than invest in local competence, infrastructure and production.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

riis138 (3020505) | about 9 months ago | (#45870323)

I would have to agree.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870425)

Yep. The Daily WTF is full of stories of clueless headhunters.

Bias against men (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869627)

And yet women always claim they are discriminated against. But discriminating against men is not only NOT sexist, but acceptable.

Fuck feminism.

Re:Bias against men (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869937)

Fuck feminism.

Yeah! Fuck it in its non-gender-specific genital area!

Re:Bias against men (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869971)

Don't fuck feminism - you might cause it to reproduce.

Re:Bias against men (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869997)

Feminism is using birth control because feminism is too focused on its career to consider reproducing.

Re:Bias against men (5, Insightful)

akozakie (633875) | about 9 months ago | (#45870013)

And this is modded funny? Controversial, agreed, but funny?

The dominating strain of feminism doesn't give a #$%# about equality and non-discrimination in general. It's one-way only, men be damned. Sure, there's a lot more discrimination against females in general, but in cases where it works the other way around you'd expect those who constantly babble about "equal rights" to side with discriminated men, at least verbally. Not a chance.

Example from my country: in a divorce as a man you have practically zero chance for the kids to stay with you, even if the mother is absolutely unfit to care for them. Worse, your visiting hours tend to be minimal. How many females will you find in the group fighting for fathers' rights? Guess. "We want equal rights" - yeah, sure...

Yeah, fuck this form of feminism.

Re:Bias against men (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870117)

Jeffery M. Leving (born 1951, Chicago, Illinois) is a Chicago divorce attorney who specializes in Matrimonial and Family Law. He is known primarily for his vocal advocacy of Fathers' Rights and hosts two radio shows. His television and radio commercials are well known in the Chicago area.

Re:Bias against men (4, Insightful)

mjm1231 (751545) | about 9 months ago | (#45870821)

Sure, fuck this form of feminism... but where the hell is it dominating? I mean, outside of right wing talk show fantasy world? I have never run into an actual person who holds this belief.

The real world still does have a way to go to get to actual gender equality. That includes figuring out how to get there or what it even means. And it will need to go both ways. I would wager the majority of feminists would agree with that.

Re:Bias against men (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45871337)

Yeah! Fuck that man-hating feminism ... that is actually an extremely rare form of feminism that in no way represents the majority of feminists ... but it's fun to define a group by its few extremist members ... Yeah!

In surprising news at 9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869647)

Weather forecasters have the same chance of getting it right as you looking out of the window.

So what does it say... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 9 months ago | (#45869649)

So what does it say about people who don't have a facebook profile? I'm guessing that we're scary dangerous people, who are terrorists and working to subvert the government. /sarc

Actually might not be far from the truth these days in the minds of some flappy headed nutbags.

Re:So what does it say... (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 9 months ago | (#45869659)

I have a suspicion that for people w/o a FB profile, the fix is to find a FB profile of someone with a similar name, and assume that they can gather sufficient information about that person to make a determination about you. In short I don't think they really know what they are doing (as evidenced by the story itself) so any method of giving themselves a feeling that they are getting something of value will do. But that's mostly just a suspicion, and you could be right.

Re:So what does it say... (2)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 9 months ago | (#45869721)

The scary thing about these sorts of shenanigans by companies is what if you're of average height, average build, brown hair, and your name is John Smith.

How can you know that the "investigation" they do into your facebook profile is actually on the right person?

Re:So what does it say... (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45869757)

I have a suspicion that for people w/o a FB profile, the fix is to find a FB profile of someone with a similar name, and assume that they can gather sufficient information about that person to make a determination about you.

There's a person in Facebook with same name as mine, with a cool crow mask on his face. I always wish that his profile is used to make conclusions about me.

Re:So what does it say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869715)

People without Facebook pages who are over the age of 30 clearly just aren't sociable people... :P

Re:So what does it say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870003)

Bollocks.
I'm well over 30 and I'm very sociable with people I see face to face/phone/email.
Most of us actually have a life instead of pretending that we do on Twitter/FB.

Why would I care about some jerk in Ely, NV who has never been outside their state following my every move on Social Media when I'm currently 10,000 miles and two continents from them?
I don't give a toss.

My circle of friends is growing and 90% of us never use FB or Twitter. Please explain that in words of one syllable bacause that is about all your brain can understand.

Re:So what does it say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870123)

If you're so socially and mentally adept, how did you miss the not so subtle hint that the post you replied to was a joke?

Re:So what does it say... (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 9 months ago | (#45870107)

Solution:
Groom a deceptive online identity designed to get you work and stay off social media for other purposes as they are just vain entertainment. That others do not is to your advantage.

If you want to get anywhere in life you must understand the value of lying and hypocritcal behavior towards your many institutional enemies. Ethics are for application to friends and neutrals. It's not sociopathic to treat the portion of society which is genuinely your enemy as your enemy. We are conditioned otherwise, but the conditioners have obvious agendas.

Re:So what does it say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870211)

If you want to get anywhere in life you must understand the value of lying and hypocritcal behavior towards your many institutional enemies. Ethics are for application to friends and neutrals. It's not sociopathic to treat the portion of society which is genuinely your enemy as your enemy. We are conditioned otherwise, but the conditioners have obvious agendas.

Fuck you, asshole. Psychopaths like you ruin society for everyone.

Useless website then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869655)

"bias against men"
I'd say more likely "bias fore women"

Giving a dollar to John Doe does not disadvantage the rest of the world, does it?

Re:Useless website then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869815)

eh, fore women, fie women. Could be sixe.

Re:Useless website then? (2)

Wootery (1087023) | about 9 months ago | (#45869833)

What on Earth are you talking about? If you unfairly bias your hiring choices toward hiring women, that means it's unfairly harder for a man to get the job, i.e. it puts men at a disadvantage.

I suppose a don't-hire-any-black-people policy wouldn't disadvantage anyone, either?

Christ, do I really have to spell it out?

Re:Useless website then? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869889)

The official corporate policy is don't-hire-any-black-people-because-we-only-hire-white-people-who-are-white-skinned-body-transformations-of-gayniggers.

Re:Useless website then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870083)

If you've just printed that dollar it devalues everyone elses

Re:Useless website then? (1)

mjm1231 (751545) | about 9 months ago | (#45870853)

It does if there are only two dollars in the whole world, and more than two people.
(I have never heard this saying and cannot fathom any sense from it)

Wrong! (5, Funny)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 9 months ago | (#45869671)

This article only reinforces the value of social media in evaluating future job performance in the human resources industry. I'll explain!

Since there is zero correlation, it is like reading tea leaves and a headhunter can reach any interpretation possible. Meanwhile, the zero correlation means any tea leaf reading cannot be falsified.

Arbitrary opinions and no valid way of measurement --- which makes the interpretations completely subject to whim! It is the perfect industry, possibly only surpassed by the "how to write a successful resume" sector of the economy!

With no right or wrong answers, what's not to LOVE!!!

Re:Wrong! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869699)

Besides, being snooped on the personal profile implies an act of submission to the employer, so it won't go away.
The only way to stand up against a system is being independent from it, and we are not allowed to. Therefore, you can be called a human resources and not bat an eye. Our ancestors, if defined a resources, would have said fuck you, slammed the door of the office and turn back to plowing their own field with their own ox.

Re:Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869805)

being independent from it, and we are not allowed to. Therefore, you can be called a human resources and not bat an eye. Our ancestors, if defined a resources, would have said fuck you, slammed the door of the office and turn back to plowing their own field with their own ox.

You can still do this today, but uppity slaves who reject being a resource are defined as insane. Enjoy being excluded from obedient society!

Re: Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869711)

Is there any correlation between their reading of tea leaves and me not getting a cup of tea?

Re: Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869821)

yes, them reading someone else's tea leaves.

Re:Wrong! (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#45869771)

I think you are to something more thn you think. Social media provides a plausable somewhat reasonable sounding explanation for their actions, when/if they need to explain themselves to either their boss, the client firm, and maybe some legal process. Even if they have to craft said explaination after the fact.

Re:Wrong! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869907)

This article only reinforces the value of social media in evaluating future job performance in the human resources industry. I'll explain!

Since there is zero correlation, it is like reading tea leaves and a headhunter can reach any interpretation possible. Meanwhile, the zero correlation means any tea leaf reading cannot be falsified.

Arbitrary opinions and no valid way of measurement --- which makes the interpretations completely subject to whim! It is the perfect industry, possibly only surpassed by the "how to write a successful resume" sector of the economy!

With no right or wrong answers, what's not to LOVE!!!

I actually have two profiles. One for my friends and another that I give to "head hunters" and other professional purposes. On this one I have a professional looking picture, I post links to IEEE and ACM articles of interest, and I have a few friends post things like, "Why are you working over the weekend AGAIN? Come out and party with us!".

So it took (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869683)

... due to a 2012 paper ...

So it took 18 months for someone to check their work? No surprise the soft sciences are achieving nothing.

... other institutions reveal exactly the opposite result.

But for 18 months, HR departments assumed they have a miracle cure. How long will it take for this 'tiger-repelling rock' to be thrown away?

Re:So it took (1)

Justpin (2974855) | about 9 months ago | (#45869849)

And in 2007 there was a (UK) government paper on man made climate change, it used the most optimistic assumptions for economic benefits and the lowest costs and used variable discounting figures by Nick Stern, he got the title lord. Added 5% MMCC levy to everybody's energy bills. By 2013 he was found to have made a mistake, as government papers are not subject to peer review.

Re:So it took (1)

cyclohazard (677922) | about 9 months ago | (#45870715)

I am rather skeptical when it comes to the conclusions drawn from various studies in social sciences myself, but 18 months seems pretty quick for a follow up study. If you read the article (or the paper), you'll see that they first had recruiters judge the facebook profiles of candidates and then, 12 months later, followed up with the companies that hired students to gain information on their actual performance as perceived by the employer.

Clearly, you need to let a significant amount of time pass after them being hired to be able to get some data on their actual performance. A year seems quite reasonable hear, and that gives you a lower bound on the time it will take you to complete such a study. Giving them some extra time for study design, evaluating the results and publishing them (which includes a peer review phase), 18 months seems quite fast - they certainly did not waste any time!

what role for men in society? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869701)

Given a documented bias against men, what role does society have for men? Prison.

Re:what role for men in society? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869773)

If the only remaining Law & Order has taught me anything, it's that 85% of men are waiting to pop out of the bushes to rape your children, your mom and her dog; any one who isn't will be stalked by an incompetent detective who will befriend him and try his damnedest to incite the guy into illicit situations.

Re:what role for men in society? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869845)

The other 15% of men are rich. As any woman will tell you, the only difference between a potential rapist and a potential husband is money.

It looks like most of the problem is that.. (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 9 months ago | (#45869717)

...no one is doing actual data analysis. From what I'm seeing in the story, recruiters are 'sort of getting a feel for' candidtes by looking at fb, twitter, and other social media pages, rather than using standardized analysis to do some variety of a Briggs-Meyer analysis of the candidates and compare those results with the requirements of the job posting they are looking to match the candidates up with. Granted I don't expect that any of the recruiters involved have even the slightest idea of how to match up profiles to requirements, but from the sounds of these 'Ratings' they are right up there with figuring out if someone who's sent you a FB friend invite is someone you want to have as a friend there.

Re:It looks like most of the problem is that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869813)

Since Briggs-Meyer and the rest of the personality typing shit is about the same level as tea leaves and astrology, I don't see the problem with their gut feeling instead.

As a former headhunter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869723)

Yes, I looked you up on Facebook. I Googled you. To get rejected a minor thing like a drunken selfie on your own time wouldn't do - you had to exhibit antisocial behavour. I wasn't looking for Miss Prim. I was looking for evidence that you might hurt somebody or embarass the company in your official capacity in a way that I should have been aware of before I hired you.

Re:As a former headhunter (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 9 months ago | (#45869745)

Is it antisocial behavior to not have any FB account at all?

Re:As a former headhunter (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#45869895)

No, it means you're hip and "in" with the youth culture.

Re:As a former headhunter (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869785)

Your willingness to pry into people's personal lives for money is evidence that you are an embarrassment to humanity. Please hurt yourself.

Suggests NSA can't do better than headhunters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869741)

If headhunters can't employ some means to extract indicators of applicant abilities from FB, what does that say about the NSA's ability to get detailed profiling from FB? Also snakeoil?

Re:Suggests NSA can't do better than headhunters? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#45870105)

The NSA would like to see your friends, friends of friends and track submitted photographs. Within 1-2-3 hops they hope to map out entire support structures, fellow travellers and even detect self radicalisation early.
The public, private, contractor web 2.0 tracking partnership is more a long term boondoggle over generations of contacted indicators.
Its now really a thought experiment between the NSA and GCHQ. Are people so honest with web 2.0 that the info they submit is NSA useful or will the older wiser UK view of knowing your been watched spoil the gathering of indicators?
Over time people understand how much of what they put down on web 2.0 will be searchable when job seeking. Knowing you will be searched for might make many people present a bland profile?

Re:Suggests NSA can't do better than headhunters? (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#45870193)

The NSA isn't extrapolating solely from an FB account. They've got all kinds of other records. That's kinda why privacy advocates are pissed at them. Moreover they don't respond to one of their guys thinking "hey that shit look suspicious," by sending asking for a warrant to arrest you, they do it by sending their info to the FBI/DoJ where somebody who can interpret Facebook profiles can decide what to do. In other words even if the NSA guy has no idea when Arab pro-Palestinean rhetoric should scare him, and when it's just something somebody says because they're venting about the total lack of a peace treaty, odds are somebody else in the system can.

OTOH these headhunters will see a pic of a dude with cheap alcohol, and instead of thinking "hey this guy is just like me when I was his age, I'll bet he parties as hard as he works" they'll think "this dude is a thug," and *poof* his chance of landing the job goes to zero. They don't send the account to some other guy. They don't even know whether this particular account belongs to the guy they're headhunting. Black names sound unique, but an awful lot of them are just different combinations of the same have-dozen or so syllables (Tre-, -von-, -dre, De-, and Del- are all very popular; I know a Delvonte) plus a little creative spelling; so you can't be sure. Just look at all the social media accounts for guys named Trayvon Martin from Florida.

My own experience. (5, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | about 9 months ago | (#45869751)

I have a profile on a business social network. I am a physicist (PHD) , and have worked a long time in science.

Everybody looking at my profile for longer than 20 seconds can figure that out.

I have a solid electronics/condensed matter/analog measurement background.

Everybody looking at my profile for longer than 40 seconds can figure that out.

But as it happens, i am a curious guy with diverse programming skills, which I have been using *from time to time*, but i know enough to talk to IT experts who really know what they are doing

Everybody looking at my profile for longer than 1 minute can figure that out.

So what i typically get/got is:
-we need a junior PHP programmer (yeah, sure - come on, admit you just searched for "PHP" and ignored the other skills, which you never heard about)
-do you like a job as *expert* for [Skill X, which was listed explicitely as "little experience"] (Oh, you like to sell anybody to you customer. At least you read my profile, but, thanks, no)
-in the interview (after beeing asked by the headhunter to apply): why do you apply here? (Yeah, because the company you hired to look for me "found" me - obviously they did not infrom you at all about the previous conversation.)

And what i see in the company i work for:
-I get a profile from our internal headhunters, whithout any infromation how that got onto my table.
-I should evaluate people for things of which i have no idea at all, but "it sounded similar" (to the HR intern)
-50% of hour HR seem to be interns. The HR has probably the highest rotation rate in the company; even the management has a felt half-life time of a year (sure, thats going to work out)

Re:My own experience. (3, Interesting)

Common Joe (2807741) | about 9 months ago | (#45870067)

I'm hunting for a job and there are days I feel like poking a blunt stick in my eye because it would be less painful. I blame HR and head hunters because of my experience in the past with them. (They are almost all totally incompetent.)

My current resume says I'm an application and database programmer. (In short: Oracle, PostgreSQL, C#, and Java is my current forte.) My blessing and curse is that I'm a jack-of-all-trades so I work in just about any language and I have. On the job boards, companies see the word "Java" on my resume (because I worked on Java apps recently) and that I worked on web apps 7+ years ago and they immediately assume I'm a current Java EE programmer. Phone interviews last all of about 3 minutes before they realize that I'm not who they are looking for. I don't get calls for anything else. I try to bury the Intranet stuff I did so it doesn't stand out and I try to highlight the ability for jack-of-all-trades. Doesn't quite work and I'm sure as hell not going to put "Not a web developer" on my resume. (Apparently, it's a mortal sin to list anything "negative" so I can't put the word "not" on my resume or cover letter.)

So, here I am. Stuck. Unable to properly convey on job boards what I can do and getting the wrong kinds of calls. I think I'm going to go find a blunt stick.

Re:My own experience. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870725)

Have you thought about hunting for the right type of work yourself?

From the sound of it, system administrator, which often is a jack of all trades, seems to be a good bet. If you're used to development, IT Operations is going to be something new to learn and get used to. Once you get recognized within the company, you can start delegating work more effectively than the managers, and be useful in ways that might further your career progress in the longer term.

Face it: Very few developers get promoted beyond senior system development. It's not that they are competent, but because of company HR incompetence, technical skills rarely get recognized and evolved beyond something to abuse and exploit.

"Biases" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869799)

Not only did the research show the ineffectiveness of using social media in evaluating potential employees, it also showed a measurable biases of the recruiters against minorities (African-American and Latino) and against men in general."

Well, idk about latinos, but the AA bias makes sense. Headhunters want to at least give employers employees that work, even if they don't work competently. Might as well say that headhunters are biased against mice.

Men are a minority (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about 9 months ago | (#45869807)

isn't it like 52% of americans are female? i vaguely remember that statistic from the ads for the Man Show.

Re:Men are a minority (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869861)

Not minority enough for feminists. Men are biologically unnecessary. As soon as women can breed among themselves cheaply and easily, men will be finished.

Re:Men are a minority (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45870051)

Not minority enough for feminists. Men are biologically unnecessary. As soon as women can breed among themselves cheaply and easily, men will be finished.

I beg to differ sir. The human male IS a huge waste of resources in nature (like the male of nearly any species) precisely because they use food, water, and shelter without bearing replacement young for the species population.

The prevalence of species with males suggests their inclusion is a survival advantage, despite the draw on resources. Apparently, the genetic diversity we provide is just barely worth the trouble.

Re:Men are a minority (0)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 9 months ago | (#45870097)

"because they use food, water, and shelter without bearing replacement young for the species population. "

So they're useless in the same sense that every ant other than the queen is useless to the ant species? Grow up, there are plenty of things a species needs in order to survive that aren't directly linked to reproduction and human males are perfectly capable of supplying many of those things.

Re:Men are a minority (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870385)

Which is basically what the parent poster said, something you'd know if you'd bother to read the last line of his post.

Re:Men are a minority (2)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#45871179)

We kill spiders.

Re:Men are a minority (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870135)

It sounds as if you have had some REALLY bad experiences but I know my gf likes me (I'm poor so money isn't it) so, by the principle of mediocrity as I only have anecdotal data, I doubt all women will suddenly want to be lesbians.

Re:Men are a minority (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 9 months ago | (#45869975)

Nope, it is more complex than that. In the US the ration for working age (15-65) is 1.0

For babies there are more males, for elderly there are more females.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_sex_ratio [wikipedia.org]

Re:Men are a minority (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#45870597)

Like all political terms "minority" and "majority" really depend on context. The terms may have mathematical roots, but they aren't used in strictly mathematical terms. With gender the math gets really tricky because the numbers start virtually equal, and women's small advantage is mostly due to our science knowing how to keep them around a couple more years.

In the context of feminism, women are a minority because a lot of the issues facing them are more similar to the issues facing minorities those facing majorities. The boss doesn't plan in terms of their issues unless they make sure to complain about their issues. For Orthodox Jews it would not be surprising if a almost entirely Christian HR department tried to to schedule them after sundown on Friday, or insist they nobody has to use vacation on Christmas, but Jews have to use a vacation day if they need time off to prepare the Passover Seder. The problem isn't that that the HR Department wants to be mean to their Orthodox Jews, it's just that unless there's a) an Orthodox Jew, or b) a Reform Jew or gentile in the decision-making process the decision-makers aren't going to consider their point-of-view. Moreover since Executives tend to promote people who are a lot like them, and Orthodox Jews make a point of being their own little group, it's very hard for an Orthodox Jew to get promoted past a certain level. They just can't bond with the Baptists who run the place the same way an Anglican could.

The same kind of thing happens to women a lot. In particular the silver-haired dudes who make insurance decisions never buy a policy that doesn't cover Viagra (which they all use), but generally don't bother to ask whether The Pill is covered (why would they need that? the wife hit 40 back in the Bush years, and doesn't admit which Bush). The bosses love a game that rewards arm strength, and practice (golf), which means the women have to practice a lot more then men to be competitive, which is not fun for them. Maternity leave is handled really weird in the US and nobody wants to change it except a few feminists that everyone else ignores, etc.

It all adds up to more women being qualified for Fortune 500 C-Level jobs then men (because they have more college education), but less then 10% of those jobs go to women.

It could easily switch around. Female dominance of higher ed is relatively recent, so a lot of those people with paper qualifications for a C-Level job don't have the work experience yet, which could easily mean that 10 years from now guys vanish from the upper echelons of corporate leadership as they can't bond with the new Millennial women who run things; but right now "women's issues" get treated as something you only pay attention to at election time, whereas as "men's issues" are just issues.

What if you have no online info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869811)

I have no Facebook and with my unique name, google shows nothing except a few geology projects I've worked on. Geology isn't my field, though, just a hobby.

I gues it helps that I never work for corporations that are public. Always preferred to stay with small companies that don't worry about shareholder value.

Re:What if you have no online info? (1)

ledow (319597) | about 9 months ago | (#45870007)

This is the real question: How the hell do you know you're even looking up the right person at all? Why does their social / sexual / personal / family life have any bearing on how they conduct their professional life at all?

As such, I put more information about my life under my pseudonyms than I ever do under my full name on Facebook (which, generally, gets you a photo of me and nothing else, because I work in IT and know how to use the privacy controls).

Any employer that ever tells me they looked me up on social networks is going to have a very hard time of it. I consider it an utter breach of privacy and trust. Employ me on what you know of my professional life. Don't judge me by what rumours you hear of my personal life.

Re:What if you have no online info? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45870129)

I dread a future where not living my social life electronically is frowned upon

"a measurable biases" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45869837)

Stupid Americans. Why don't you even understand what the word 'a' means?

Secondly - non-whites are NOT 'minorities'.

White people are only 10-13% of the world's population.

THAT is a 'minority'.

Oh wait... I forgot - white people aren't allowed to have our own countries any more.

We aren't allowed to simply live WITH OUR OWN KIND.

Any of you geniuses ever wondered why? Why is it ONLY white countries that are being genocided out of existence by unwanted mass immigration?

Any answers? Of course not. That would require THINKING, which scares you.

Re:"a measurable biases" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870217)

I wouldn't want any countries defined by colour. As to why 'white' countries are richer and are therefore more attractive to economic migration have a look at the imperial past of Europe

Meh (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 9 months ago | (#45869909)

Like anything else, social networking info is a possible source of useful info. As long as you understand the limitations.

I doubt that the average headhunter is good at evaluating much of anything, social networking or no. But that goes for the average {most professions} too ...

Shaking hands. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 9 months ago | (#45869979)

Everybody knows that the handshaking and the first impression at the start of a interview detemines 75% of the talk. Looking at the facebook first impression is equal. Any test would give better results.

Re:Meh (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45870195)

I suppose there's the blind squirrel corollary.

You know the guy they exclude with this has posted a pimpin', guns, and money Selfey.

Use of social media for salary specifically? (1)

swb (14022) | about 9 months ago | (#45870043)

My first instinct about the use of social media for job applicants has nothing to do with job performance, but feels more like a social background check -- is this person a "partier" or some kind of political "radical"?

My next thought is that maybe they use it as background for salary negotiations -- does this person have a big family/kids which would be expensive for insurance? Are they overextended financially and can be coerced into accepting a lower salary?

We are talking about recruiters here (1)

Casandro (751346) | about 9 months ago | (#45870095)

So far I have only met one, with a background in psychology, who could determine anything at all.

Most recruiters are completely clueless. They don't know _anything_. They know nothing about the world outside of their bubble. They have no idea what the company needs. They have no idea what the slave wants. They just randomly match and mix.

Now add to that that usually only the bad companies outsource hiring (at least in Germany) and you will get bad employees matched with bad employers.

headhunters suck (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 9 months ago | (#45870277)

I get contacted on linkedin a few times a month by recruiters. Half the time it is people who work for companies and actually want to talk to me. The other half it is third-party head-hunters, and what they want is for me to tell them anyone who may be interested: ie, they contact me, a stranger, and ask me to do their job for them. Of course, they usually offer a finder's fee of some sort, but if a recruiter/headhunter doesn't have his or her own bag of tricks, or even an hr professional subscription to LinkedIn, then what good is he/her?

As for recruiting internally, I have had to coach the recruiters at the company I work for as to what the look for, what type of candidate is acceptable for different departments, etc. I nearly have the company record on employee referrals, and now managers in other departments will often times come to me and ask if I know anyone rather than relying on "talent acquisition" to find them someone suitable. But hell, at $2500 a pop, its almost like a nice little part-time job, so they can keep being as useless as they want to be as far as I'm concerned. There's never going to be a substitute for a vouch from a trusted source, no matter what type of "screening" HR ever gets a hold of.

Playing god while not equipped (1)

EngineeringStudent (3003337) | about 9 months ago | (#45870729)

HR eiter in-company, or out-company (headhunter) loves to play God. Yes they manage payroll, taxes, paperwork, and even a little bit of personalities and do a stellar job. Who doesn't appreciate someone who minimizes potential beef with the IRS. When they play HR they do great, but when they pretend to read minds or futures, they do less well.

Consider engineers, for example. The HR folks are not engineers. They typically are afraid of equations, so algebra, calculus, and differential equations - prerequisites for engineering - are off the table. The only things left are to hope someone else who hasn't used their degree in 15 years (engineering managers) can tell the difference. (It is a good bet that if you haven't used Diff-Eq in 5 years, you aren't any good at it anymore.) HR can try to "hack it" using indirect indicators, GPA, keywords in the resume. As far as I have seen they can be somewhat easily bluffed by a pretty face of a good talker. The problem with that is that it puts folks who are pretty boys with good talk where it should put butt-kicking rock-stars who are going to change the world.

One of my favorite articles, for its lack of implementation or even serious consideration is the ignoble winner: "The Peter Principle revisited". http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.0455 [arxiv.org]

This article gives a really basic, but extensible, framework against things like "frequency of review cycle" can be compared with actual ability to differentiate talent or maximize it in the organization. Use of the structure shows that there are organizational policies and structures that can actually reject talent. You can put in the 100% people, perfect talents, and the performance of the overall organization goes down. If you input some simple parameters you can determine that there is a peak after organizational performance goes down, and never returns to the peak.

This is a sandbox problem that could educate these folks because it gives them some great levers for getting to data-driven understanding.

Recruiters can tell one thing (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | about 9 months ago | (#45870779)

If you're posting often on social media, you're probably not doing much in the way of anything called work.

I solidly disagree (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 9 months ago | (#45870783)

I think that HR departments should be prevented from examining any social media for hiring but that said, I look at different people's facebook pages and I can tell if they are a complete tool, looser, go getter, nutcase, or criminal. When I am buying something through an online classified I will check that person's email for a FB match. It is great to get a picture of them to identify them at the coffeeshop etc. But many of these people have pictures of themselves infront of their weed stash, treating women like crap, holding guns(Odd in Canada) or just 100 pictures of themselves drinking like it's a sport.

Also their politics usually come clear through FB, I am not saying that you should hire based on politics but if people are putting up pictures that say Obama is going to make it illegal to be white and get a bank loan, or that Romney is going to make Mormonism the state religion; then they are a tool.

private facebook page (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870835)

my facebook page is set to friends and family. I wonder how recruiters can view my page anyways.

and against men in general. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870849)

and against men in general.

it's a fuggin women's world today. likely because HR is typically run by women.

Amazon recruiters may be totally useless idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45870989)

There may be something to this "zero" business. I think Amazon's outsourced recruiters are the most useless idiots on the planet. They have some kind of LinkedIn search capability, and DO NOT EVEN BOTHER TO READ THE PROFILES OF THE PEOPLE THEY TROLL. They spam solely based on keywords, and troll me usually once every six months. They ignore my location, my skills, and everything else. They don't even look at my profile. They ignore my response, too, or else they wouldn't keep trolling me, since I tell them categorically I would never work for a company as unethical as Amazon. Surely that would be a clue that I'm not a good candidate? Apparently, the outsourcing service only hires brain-dead people with zero abilities or skills. These people are idiots even compared to other recruiters, which is saying something.

What amazes me is that a company as cheap as Amazon wastes money on these zeroes. Amazon would come out ahead if they just partnered with LinkedIn and spammed people themselves. They'd save a lot of money. I think Amazon's outsource service actually subtracts value from the recruiting process.

I do admire how LinkedIn milks money out of desperate recruiters. Great revenue source that apparently will never run dry as long as recruiters spend OPM to find candidates.

(plus one InFormativge) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45871119)

you can. When the successes with the go of the minutiae 8egs of ram runs infinitesimaaly users. Surprise a super-organised but it's not a THINKING ABOUT IT. Problem stems

Recruiters aren't good at their purported job (3, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about 9 months ago | (#45871207)

Maybe it's just Sturgeon's Law, but most recruiters couldn't get a clue in a clue sanctuary while doused in clue scent.

You could take a typical recruiter, drop them in the middle of Facebook HQ, and tell them to find some PHP experts, and they'd come back with a janitor, two administrators, and a high school kid who was visiting.

You could give them the resumes of the top people in the world, mixed with some from recent San Quentin parolees, and they'd do no better than chance at picking the good ones.

Facebook may or may not be a way to judge potential employees. But even if it were, most recruiters couldn't do it.

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