Facebook invents X Factor-style talent contests to pick people for jobs

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Job candidates may soon have to beat rivals in online “talent-based competitions” broadcast on Facebook.

The social network has invented  X Factor-style contests to help employers weed out the best applicants for interview with the possibility of cash prizes for those taking part.

Candidates could also face having their skills judged by other Facebook users, whose opinions would be  submitted to the employer.

Facebook, which has more than half the UK population among its two billion worldwide users, believes the  system will be a “technological advancement over the resumé [CV]”, and will also allow candidates to send images and video to human resources departments.

The invention, published by the European Patent Office, is described as a new way to rank and “distil talent”.

The contests would allow applicants to win “rewards” such as prize money, gifts, interviews and “ultimately jobs”. Some of them would be played out in public as candidates showcase their “employable skills before employers, other users, and neutral judges”, who will “evaluate and rank them”.

The patent says: “Certain contests, like graphic design for an advertising agency, would lend itself to publicly-judged contests.”

At the end of the contests, employers could view a ranked list of the “most talented candidates”. Facebook claims the method could “dramatically decrease candidate search time while simultaneously increasing the quality and accuracy of the hiring process”. It is described as a “try before you buy” system for employers to “see candidates in action doing relevant work”.

Competition data would be sent to a personnel manager to make the final hiring decision.

Facebook also this month patented machine learning techniques to help firms “identify and recruit” the most suitable candidates using information on their “social profile” to rank them.

It would aggregate data such as schooling, work experience along with “social status”, groups the candidates  belong to and whether they logged on to Facebook recently, allowing firms to “leverage the full potential of such information”.

Facebook would not comment directly on the job-related patents saying it regularly filed new ideas. Its founder Mark Zuckerberg last year launched Workplace, a newsfeed, messenger, groups, events and live-streaming video platform for the workplace.


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