We read today in the Daily Mail online that our Tweets can be used by future employers to analyise our personality.
Employers could use new personality profiling software on jobseekers’ tweets to see if they are right for a role.
IBM developers believe they can successfully assess a person’s psychological traits by analysing the 140 characters they use on Twitter.
The software scans the most recent tweets, be it hundreds or thousands, to develop a personality profile.
Software being developed by IBM to analyse whether a jobseeker is right for a role through their tweets
And developers say this technology, which is being tested, could be used by employers to whittle down the number of applicants for a job interview and could eventually be the deciding factor between two candidates.
Researchers believe the software can even establish how emotionally resilient a person is.
People are classed as one of the five main personality traits – extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness – depending on what they write.
Researchers say they can decipher someone’s personality trait by the words they use on Twitter IBM tested the theory by analysing 300 Twitter profiles and getting the users to take psychometric tests. It showed there was a close correlation between their analysis of the tweets and the results of the tests. According to IBM, the two ‘highly correlated’ more than 80% of the time.
Nigel Guenole, research director of IBM company, Kenexa, told The Sunday Times: ‘It could have great potential for spotting future high-flyers’.
Researchers claim words used in tweets reveal a person’s character traits. According to the research, people who use words like perfect tend to be perfectionists. Those who are deemed more caring use words like ‘we’, ‘friends’ and ‘family’ and people who were seen as more individualistic used words such as ‘words’ or ‘school’. Longer words are associated with people likely to get on with their colleagues and conscientious people talk about their achievements.
Michelle Zhou, from IBM’s Almaden Research Centre in California, which developed the software, told Technology Review: ‘We want to use social media to derive information about an individual—what is the overall affect of this person? How resilient is this person emotionally? People with different personalities want something different.’
The software could also be used to target adverts to people online, as well as in call centres or other customer service roles.
In previous studies researchers have shown that to get a reasonable match for someone’s personality they need to assess just 50 tweets.
However, the research has prompted warnings of the dangers of relying on social data when selecting a candidate. Susannah Clements, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, told the newspaper hiring people based on their online use ‘gives an advantage to people who live and breathe the digital space.’
How do you feel knowing your personal social media channels could be used by employers to make decisions about you before even meeting you? Tell us your thoughts below: