[IPAC-List] Facebook

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Mon May 27 15:17:50 EDT 2013

That doesn't speak particularly highly of those doing the screening and
selection, if they defer to something as superficial as that. What
next: no Twitter account, no job? No Iphone, no job?

Facebook is the hula hoop of assessment, and LinkedIn the poodle skirt.
There is nothing enduring enough about the form or societal uptake of
either that they should constitute valid screening criteria. If we're
learning that someone likes to mutilate small animals for kicks, then I
suppose there is some validity, but beyond that not very much.

Ironically, if someone has the good sense, maturity and self-control,
and regular real-world contact with important people in their life to
not immerse themselves in Facebook, or the humility to not become one of
those tireless self-promoters on LinkedIn, you get penalized. If that's
how people intend to conduct selection, then I would suggest that those
doing the selecting were rather poorly selected themselves.

Grumpiness aside, my commuter-bus reading these days is Dan Kahnemann's
"Thinking Fast and Slow". (Good read incidentally; bursting with common
sense, supplemented by artfully clever research citations.) One of the
things the content of the book, and Kahnemann's general thesis, would
suggest is that if one *does* have intentions to use on-line
information, that it be left to the very last step, the same way one
would wish to leave the appearance of the candidate until very late in
the process. Good selection does what it can to eliminate any and all
halo effects (and whatever the inverse of that is called). If a
web-presence search suggests that what you saw in a structured interview
is seriously contradicted - the way that a reference check might result
in the same discrepancy - then I suppose there is some validity and
utility in looking for such info. But it should not be what you start

Thanks for the update, Dennis. It's been too quiet here, lately.
Mark Hammer

>>> Dennis Doverspike <dennisdoverspike at gmail.com> 2013/05/27 2:34 PM


I asked this question back in February and thought I would summarize
the responses. As often happens, a number of responses took up a side
topic, but a very important one, as to whether employers should look at
Facebook for selection at all. The position taken by a number of
responders was that Facebook should not be used for selection.

My original question though dealt more with whether as an individual,
and not necessarily from an official HR point of view, you tend to trust
people less if they have no information on Facebook or LinkeIN, or have
basically taken themselves off the grid. I would have to summarize the
responses by saying no one really agreed that they did. However, I will
note that since that time I have talked to a number of individuals with
hiring responsibilities who have told me that they do look for
information online on individuals and if they cannot find anything they
do tend to take it as a negative. at least in the sense that if they
cannot find any information, they tend to simply move on to other


Facebook Trust Question? It would appear that a number of individuals
who are looking for jobs or applying to graduate school are deleting
their facebook profile. For example, I have a facebook jobs page, but a
number of students recently have said - "I cannot join because I do not
have a Facebook page." I am going to assume they did but have deleted it
as they apply for jobs. So my question - do you trust a person less or
have questions about them if they do not have a facebook page or it
looks like they have cleaned up their internet history?


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