Shane Barker Featured in Scientific American Mind

Shane Barker Featured in Scientific American Mind

How did I land the most unexpected job ever, without a resume or an interview? That’s what a recent article in Scientific American Mind explored, to help uncover how technology like social media and psychological testing is redefining the traditional job search.

The Social Media Connection
I am a self-professed social media addict. That’s what set me on a non-traditional path to apply for a social media manager position with the San Francisco 49ers. Oh wait, I never submitted a job application or prepared a resume. After I crashed the Dallas Cowboys training camp and recorded a video of myself cheering like the true fan I am, I posted it to my blog and wrote about my passion for social media — and for the 49ers. The little stunt didn’t land me a job with professional sports, but did put me in the spotlight of a up-and-coming startup company in Uzbekistan. Pretty soon, I was on my way to launching Modera, a fashion and lifestyle website and app with a team from Uzbekistan and Sacramento.

Technology is redefining the traditional job search as employers search online data, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts to gain insight. The traditional resume isn’t dead yet, but the way people are searching for jobs is — and so is the way companies are screening potential candidates.

The New Job Search
The abundance of information online means job candidates are empowered to research companies, keep up to date on the latest technologies and make personal connections quickly. Even people who have secure jobs are using LinkedIn to get their skills endorsed by others in the industry and could be recruited by any company in any location at any time.

Social Media Screening?
Scientific American’s article describes how the landscape of job searching is dramatically changing. Two thirds of employers surveyed use Facebook to evaluate job candidates. The social media website activity is used to evaluate a job candidate’s personality, behavioral traits and social skills. But Facebook isn’t the only one — employers also report using Twitter and LinkedIn. With all the new sites coming online, there is sure to be more electronic data trails to mine information from.

Psychological Testing
Beyond social media, companies who recruit want to know how potential employees will perform on the job. Are social media postings really the best way to tell? Scientific American says the personality test and the IQ test are still some of the best indicators of future job success. That’s because independent research has shown that personality tests measure important traits like openness, extroversion, conscientiousness and emotional stability.

It’s no doubt that employers will continue to use social media and other online activity as a way to screen the psychological and personality traits of potential job candidates. What do you think of how technology is shaping our future?

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