Since Facebook launched its new job listings feature earlier this year, the social media giant has made what looks like a play for LinkedIn’s share of the online job search and recruiting market. Since then, Facebook has integrated job listings into its Marketplace platform, revealed that it is testing location targeting for advertising, and has been playing around with a mentor/mentee matchmaking feature. The Next Web spots what could be the company’s next move in its evolution into a job search tool, reporting that Facebook is testing a résumé feature that lets users add more detail about their work experience to their profiles:
The new addition expands on the standard ‘Work and education’ section, but won’t publicly display all information about your credentials. The dedicated resume field lets you conveniently list your professional and educational background in more detail. It also allows selecting the precise dates when you started and left each undertaking that appears there. …
Interestingly, the screenshots indicate the detailed information will not readily show up on your public profile. This could mean that Facebook is considering making the hidden resume details available exclusively to job hunters and talent seekers. … As with any other test feat, there is no telling whether and when the functionality will make its way to all users.
An illuminating new survey of recruitment professionals conducted by Mercer and the Society for Human Resource Management finds that only 20 percent are fully confident in their organizations’ ability to assess the skills of candidates for entry-level positions using traditional methods such as interviewing or reading applications and résumés. SHRM’s Roy Maurer elaborates on the findings:
Most employers use in-person interviews (95 percent), application reviews (87 percent) and resume reviews (86 percent), but nearly one-half of respondents said they have “little or no confidence” in application and resume reviews.
“Since application and resume reviews are typically the first line of screening for job applicants, many candidates never even get to the interview,” said Barb Marder, a senior partner at global consultancy Mercer. Respondents expressed much more confidence in using in-person interviews to assess candidates. Marder added that entry-level applicants without any work experience often have trouble getting past the review phase because HR dismisses them for lack of experience.
At Science of Us, Drake Baer highlights some interesting new research into how signals of social class disclosed on resumes may have an impact on hiring. In the study, professors Lauren Rivera and András Tilcsik sent out job applications to 316 top law firms, each of which received an application randomized by gender and social-class background. Social class backgrounds were indicated with several signals, including last name (“Cabot” vs. “Clark”), extracurricular activities, and hobbies and interests. The responses they received were surprising:
Those 316 applications led to 22 interview invitations, good for a 6.96 percent callback rate. (This, the authors note, is consistent with previous studies on white-collar jobs and expectations for applicants who were at the top of their class but didn’t go to super-élite schools.) What was bananas, however, is how that rate skewed by gender: the lower-class male got just one callback, the lower-class female five, the higher-class woman three, and the higher-class man thirteen. That means the blue-blooded James had a 16.25 callback rate, while his nearly identical siblings had a paltry 3.83 callback percentage.
“Coming from a higher-class background only helps men,” Rivera tells Science of Us. “Given my prior research, we thought that social class background would lift all those people regardless of gender, and that was not the case.”
Anne Fisher at Fortune highlights a new survey of 3,500 employers from HireRight:
Consider: Five years ago, 70% of recruiters, HR staff, and hiring managers reported they had caught a misrepresentation of some kind on an applicant’s resume. In the most recent poll, 88% had.
What’s behind that change?
For one thing, people move around more and wear more hats at once than they used to. … Not long ago, a standard seven-year background check would usually cover just two or three previous jobs. Now, a resume might show seven, eight, or even more gigs during seven years. The assumption that an employer won’t pursue details about all of them often leads to what [Mary O’Loughlin, HireRight’s vice president of global customer experience,] calls “job inflation, or overstating what you actually did.” And as more Baby Boomers retire and leave senior jobs, “we’re seeing Gen X and Gen Y candidates going after those positions without necessarily having enough experience or the right background,” she adds. “In order to seem qualified, people tend to exaggerate.”
In a recently published study, Sonia Kang, Katherine DeCelles, András Tilcsik, and Sora Jun examine how job applicants from racial minority groups “whiten” their résumés by removing or downplaying racial cues, whether “diversity statements” on the part of employers make them less likely to do so, and whether those employers are actually more likely to hire minority applicants with “unwhitened” résumés. The researchers discuss their findings in the Harvard Business Review:
We created realistic resumes for black and Asian applicants that varied in how much racial information was apparent. We sent these resumes out to 1,600 entry-level jobs posted on job search websites across 16 metropolitan areas in the U.S. Critically, half of these job ads mentioned valuing diversity and the other half did not, which allowed us to see whether diversity statements actually make a difference when it comes to hiring decisions. We created email accounts and phone numbers for our applicants and observed how many callbacks they received.
We found that the whitened versions of both the black and Asian resumes were more than twice as likely to result in a callback as unwhitened resumes, even though the listed qualifications were identical — in line with other studies showing lower callback rates for minority applicants. Most importantly, the discrimination against unwhitened resumes was no smaller for purportedly pro-diversity employers than for employers that didn’t mention diversity in their job ad.