Social Media Based Recruiting Profiler FacebookComparator.com Forced Offline

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Social media based personality assessment for recruitment gets a serious push…backwards.

“Ignoring a candidate’s social media presence is being myopic and unprofessional. Any HR professional that insists on ignoring it should be fired for being hopelessly mired in the past."

Executive recruiter Tal Newhart, owner of ScreeningInterviews.com, announced today the forced termination of the candidate profiling service FacebookComparator.com. All unused client fees will be refunded immediately. The online service, used by HR departments and independent recruiters in the U.S. and Europe, analyzed a job applicant’s self-reporting on large social networks to predict a candidate’s hirability and anticipated job performance. Recruiting expert Newhart gave little explanation other than “We stepped on some pretty important toes.”

“We’ll continue to use the Comparator technology in our retained assignments and as part of our interviewing services at ScreeningInterviews.com, but it’s dead as a standalone recruiting support service. Too bad since it was a robust performance and retention predictor. I guess too good.”

“We were informed the Comparator was being used to ‘prevent the hiring of members’. I can certainly see that. However, job seekers need to understand the majority of companies are using social self-reporting, and what you say and show about yourself online, is being used to evaluate who you are."

“Our Comparator simply quantified it through a process we call ‘structured observation’. No magic. Just carefully examining a candidate’s social presence, is quantifying what we see, and reporting it unambiguously. As a taxonomic personality calculator it is relatively crude, but it works. LinkedIn, while obviously light on psychometrics, is helpful in vetting out the resume on the task and skill side. Between the two you have a pretty holistic picture of the candidate.”

“In the future we’ll see job/candidate matching engines that combine and optimize the individual company and candidate matrices,” Newhart said. “The result will be dramatically shorter unemployment periods. The underlying technology exists today. It will just be very complicated to get the cloud-based pieces to play together. When done though the social impact will be enormous. But for now, just look closely at a candidate’s self-reporting. Everything is right there.”

Why should high-performance companies use social media in their recruiting to save money and reduce hiring risk.

“Social media is great for employers. It’s the previously missing piece in modern recruiting. The resume tells you what the candidate can do and what they have done. But it does a poor job of indicating ‘Who’ is doing it. And the Who is a vitally important variable as it relates to that person’s cultural fit to the hiring organization and the hiring manager’s team. It’s typically the Who aspect that dictates the retention period and other success parameters. Self-reported social media, pictures, comments, Tweets, even what’s on a candidate’s Pinterest wall, all of it, helps indicate who the Who actually is. This helps you predict performace and prevent expensive, unpleasent surprises.

“Because of this any company that hires a candidate without at least a cursory look at their overt digital fingerprints, their online reputation, is being irresponsible. By using them, you are hiring smarter and providing a better financial return to your stakeholders. These days ignoring a candidate’s social media presence is being myopic and unprofessional. Any HR professional that insists on ignoring it should be fired as hopelessly mired in the past.. And after termination they should be offered a ride home since their lack of vision would endanger other drivers.”

What can candidates do to appear more attractive to employers.

“Think in terms of the competing resumes. The most important thing is to appear conscientious, outgoing and in every possible way more reliable, and less weird, than the next candidate. This means even making sure your group selection and what you ‘like’ is appropriate for the target employer. You could be an excellent neonatal care nurse with the name Sweet Polly Purebread but if your favorite online groups are the NRA ("Sniper rifles then and now!") and pole dancing techniques ("The best lingerie to increase tips!") a potential healthcare employer is likely to keep looking."

“And watch the tattoos. Nothing screams ‘Don’t hire me!’ like a picture of a spider tattoo on your face.”

Tal Newhart conducts mid to senior-level recruiting assignments worldwide and is a partner at ScreeningInterviews.com that conducts pre-employment candidate interviews, in the U.S. and overseas, to save clients time and money. In his spare time Newhart also writes the popular C-suite newsletter The Art of Corporate Warfare.

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