By Henry Mushipi
With extensive research currently taking place in the field of Human Resources and Individual/ Organisational Psychology and Behavior, it has become increasingly easy to tell the personality of an individual using very little information such as favorite pet or color, most productive time of the day, sleeping patterns etc.
A lot of people, whether unconsciously or otherwise do give out a lot of such information on the social networking site facebook. Such information (including religious beliefs) has been used by psychological profilers to identify vulnerable individuals who were eventually recruited by extremist terrorist organizations to carryout suicide missions in the name of their “Maker”.
However, the same information can still be used by employers/recruiters as a tool for selecting the most suitable candidate for a job. For example one study found that the more people a facebooker had on their friends list, the more likely it was that the person was an extrovert and would, due to his/her ability to attract and interact with so many people, make a very good Marketing, Public Relations or front office person.
The comments and status updates can assist in determining character, mood swings and levels of aggression that a professional can use to match a person with a job and how well the prospective employee can fit in with other members of staff.
The frequency with which a person posts and comments on their (and other peoples’) wall may give an indication of either loneliness, need for attention or boredom and to a lesser or greater extent, esteem issues. Writing about past glories may indicate that one really has nothing going for them and doesn’t see him/herself making a comeback anytime soon, another ingredient for failure.
Too much activity during working hours from a facebooker that is currently in employment shows a lack of commitment to duty (reasons may range from laziness, wrong placement, or frustration) and such people may need close supervision (simply taking away the internet from them may not solve anything as they will just use the phone or form gossip clicks in the company).
The question is would you be comfortable with a recruiter looking into your account (status updates, wall posts, comments etc) when deciding whether or not you fit the job profile?