Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Businesses Facebook Social Networks

Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles 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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles

Comments Filter:
  • Biases (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 05, 2014 @06:38AM (#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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 05, 2014 @06:46AM (#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:Color me shocked (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 05, 2014 @06:56AM (#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.

  • My own experience. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drolli ( 522659 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @07:26AM (#45869751) Journal

    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:Color me shocked (Score:4, Interesting)

    by erikkemperman ( 252014 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @07:42AM (#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.

  • by Common Joe ( 2807741 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @09:21AM (#45870067) Journal

    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:Color me shocked (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KernelMuncher ( 989766 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @01:25PM (#45871409)
    I've got to disagree about your belief that young people can not be effective managers. The military routinely turns young college graduates into officers and gives them leadership responsibilities. That system has been successful in the United States for more than two hundred years.

    The main difference between the military and the private sector is in the preparation. The military has a specialized training program (OCS) specifically tailored for leadership principles that all applicants must pass before becoming officers. That lasts for several months. And, for young officers, there's a great support system of experienced officers and NCO's who can give them advice.

    Private corporations generally don't offer training and mentorship programs any more due to cost cutting measures. It's common to have people promoted to management positions with no training whatsoever. And the closest civilian equivalent, an MBA, seems to breed arrogance.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!