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Study shows Facebook page may indicate the quality of worker


A new study conducted by researchers at Northern Illinois University, University of Evansville and Auburn University indicates that a person’s Facebook page may be able to predict the type of worker they will be, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The researchers looked at 56 employed college students’ Facebook profiles for about 10 minutes. They then rated them based on a series of questions including if they thought the person who owned the profile was dependable or emotionally stable. After six months, the researchers asked the students’ employers for an employee evaluation. According to the news source, the findings showed a strong correlation between the students’ job performance and their Facebook profile scores.

The people who rated the Facebook pages took in to account if they traveled, had numerous friends and had a lot of different hobbies. If there was a couple photos of the individual partying, it was not counted against them – in fact, the researchers perceived them as outgoing and friendly, according to the media outlet.

The lead researcher, Don Kluemper of Northern Illinois University, believes that Facebook could be a good indicator for employers to examine while considering a prospective employee, the news outlet reports. Kluemper added that it could be a good tool because people are not likely to act differently in front of their friends.

However, a Facebook page or other social media profile can also hurt a current employee. Many employers are now investing in employee monitoring software to make sure their employees are not wasting time one social media sites rather than doing their work.

According to The Toronto Star, employers should ensure that they inform their employees about their social media monitoring systems, so that the employee is not blindsided.

“You don’t want an employee to feel spied upon,” Erin Kuzz, an employment and labor lawyer with Toronto firm Sherrard Kuzz, told the news source. “But make sure they understand that [companies] have the ability to monitor their use of social media. Make sure that maybe every month or two you do in fact do some monitoring. And make sure that employees understand that if you say you’re going to monitor, you’re going to monitor.”

Employers and employees alike need to be aware of the implications of social media – whether it’s good or bad.