Interessant voor als je werknemers zoekt: Onderzoekers ontdekken relatie Facebookprofiel en karakter

Via op een interessant onderzoek gestoten:

“Onderzoekers van de Northern Illinois University, de University of Evansville en Auburn University hebben vier actief Facebook-gebruikende HR-professionals en –studenten gevraagd om de profielen van 56 gebruikers te bekijken. Na de profielen voor 10 minuten te hebben bezien, moesten ze deze profielen beoordelen op de vijf belangrijkste karaktertrekken voor een goede werknemer: openheid, zorgvuldigheid, extroversie (naar buiten gericht zijn), vriendelijkheid en neuroticisme. Toen de onderzoekers zes maanden later deze beoordelingen vergeleken met de evaluaties van de 56 gebruikers door hun leidinggevenden, ontdekten ze een duidelijke correlatie.”

Abstract van het onderzoek:

We examined the psychometric properties of the Big Five personality traits assessed through social networking profiles in 2 studies consisting of 274 and 244 social networking website (SNW) users. First, SNW ratings demonstrated sufficient interrater reliability and internal consistency. Second, ratings via SNWs demonstrated convergent validity with self-ratings of the Big Five traits. Third, SNW ratings correlated with job performance, hirability, and academic performance criteria; and the magnitude of these correlations was generally larger than for self-ratings. Finally, SNW ratings accounted for significant variance in the criterion measures beyond self-ratings of personality and cognitive ability. We suggest that SNWs may provide useful information for potential use in organizational research and practice, taking into consideration various legal and ethical issues.

Recognizing the potential for process and outcome improvements, many organizations have begun to incorporate technological advances afforded by the World Wide Web into organizational practices (e.g., Llorens & Kellough, 2007Maurer & Liu, 2007Rothstein & Goffin, 2006). From the job seeker’s perspective, the Web can be used to learn about specific position openings and broader information about the organization as a whole. Such information has been shown to influence applicants’ perceptions of potential fit with the organization and their application intentions (Dineen, Ash, & Noe, 2002). From an organization’s perspective, the Web can be used to improve efficiency, enable new assessment tools, increase applicant convenience, and promote a core image (Chapman & Webster, 2003).

As a medium by which salient, organizationally relevant information can be exchanged, the Web affords a level of interactivity not formerly possible. Because organizations are interested in attracting high-quality employees who fit within the culture of the organization, researchers have begun to investigate factors that affect website attractiveness and effectiveness (e.g., Dineen & Noe, 2009Walker, Feild, Giles, Armenakis, & Bernerth, 2009). In addition to attracting better recruits, organizations are also interested in using the Web interface to better understand employees after they have been attracted.

Rather than simply harvesting information from online applications, organizations are exploring the Web as a means of gathering information about current and future employees. A prime example of this involves social networking websites (SNWs), which have recently gained attention as a potential source of job applicant information (Havenstein, 2008Taylor, 2007). At the same time, organizational scholars have urged caution in using SNW-derived information (Davison et al., 2009Schings, 2009) because its suitability in recruitment and selection processes has not been systematically scrutinized.

The need for research on SNWs is heightened by their rapidly increasing utilization. SNW use has quickly become the fourth most popular online activity, surpassing the use of e-mail (, 2009). As SNW popularity has continued to increase, organizational representatives have increasingly used them to evaluate current and potential employees. Reason dictates that these representatives perceive the data available on SNWs as providing valuable, organizationally relevant information. Yet, unexplored is a theoretically grounded approach to the study of SNW information relevant to specific organizational practices, such as screening potential employees or understanding flows of human and social capital in the organization.

With the present study, we seek to begin systematically addressing issues pertaining to organizationally relevant information available from SNWs. Organizations routinely seek information from job applicants to begin making general determinations of their suitability and fit. Although such determinations are based on various person characteristics, applicant personality is one that garners particular interest. Personality traits can function as indicators of behavioral tendencies in organizational contexts (e.g., Goldberg, 1990Ones, Dilchert, Viswesvaran, & Judge, 2007Tupes & Christal, 1992).

Information pertaining to applicant personality may be collected formally or informally from different sources within and outside the organization. Of relevance for the present study, some researchers have examined whetherSNWs might be such a source, finding evidence that they manifest aspects of users’ personalities (e.g., Marcus, Machilek, & Schütz, 2006). However, research is needed on measurement characteristics of SNW-based personality evaluations to determine their suitability in connection with processes such as recruitment and selection.

Investigations of SNW-based personality evaluations should employ (a) an agreed-upon personality structure; and (b) a reliable rating process. Studies pertinent to the personality structure line of discovery have successfully used the well established Big Five personality framework (Barrick & Mount, 1991Hurtz & Donovan, 2000). In addition, assessing personality via SNWs requires that evaluators demonstrate the capacity to produce meaningful “other” ratings of personality. Although much is known about self-rated personality in the organizational context, other ratings of personality have been less scrutinized.

Ones et al. (2007) recently noted that other ratings exhibit criterion-related and incremental validity beyond self-reports, and called for research exploring other personality ratings in recruitment and selection. Thus, using other ratings to delve into SNWs as a viable source of personality information appears tenable. In two studies, we examine the psychometric qualities of other SNW-based ratings of Big Five traits, such as internal consistency, interrater agreement, and convergence with self-reported personality ratings. We also investigate the relations between SNW-based other ratings and outcomes of interest in organizational research: supervisor-rated job performance, hirability ratings, and academic success.

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