Do employers hire for Narcissism?

Ruth St. Denis in The Peacock.

Narcissists can be very successful. Often tireless self promoters that excel at getting important people to notice and like them, they make friends everywhere and may effortlessly climb the hierarchal structure in any given organization. Their workplaces value them right up to the moment that their inflated ego and sense of entitlement brings them to commit an unforgivable act, like raping a hotel maid or toppling a company with an over large misplaced bet. Narcissists don’t concern themselves with ethics.

In a study of Facebook profiles by a researcher at Western Illinois University, a correlation was found between a narcissism measure called “grandiose exhibitionism” (GE) and Facebook self-promotional behaviors such as frequent changes of profile pictures and a high number of friends.

Researchers at Northern Illinois University found that Human Resource types could judge the hiring desirability of a candidate by looking at their Facebook profile. Among the features found attractive were frequent photo postings and a high number of friends.

Of course there’s more to narcissism than just self-promotional behaviors but the intersection of these two studies support the dangers of assessing character traits based on a superficially winning personality. Or as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.

Sources:
Facebook’s Dark Side Topic of Study by WIU Communication Professor – University Relations – Western Illinois University

Social Networking Websites, Personality Ratings, and the Organizational Context: More Than Meets the Eye? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1 Feb 2012

Image: “Ruth St. Denis in The Peacock.” by New York Public Library, on Flickr

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