The reality of influence discrimination

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Do people discriminate against you because of your score or rank from an influence measurement service like Klout?

A thought-provoking post by Kerry Gorgone writing in Marketing Profs argues that, yes, it happens, and offers some advice to employers and would-be employees:

[…] A note to employers: Don’t rely too heavily on any one metric when hiring someone. Years of experience and demonstrated success in the industry should mean more than a relatively new online scoring algorithm.

In addition, don’t dig too deeply into a candidate’s topics of influence. You can’t “unsee” something like an affiliation with a particular political party or cause, and even if you weren’t actually discriminating based on this affiliation, it might look as though you did, which can result in liability for your company.

Job seekers: Tend to your online brand and your social scores (but don’t obsess), and be aware that interviewers will discriminate based on a number of factors. You might never know which, so make an effort to keep the interview focused on your professional accomplishments, rather than your personal opinions.

See also: web marketing consultant Sean Carlos‘ two-part analysis “Can Social Influence Be Distilled Into A Score?” published in Marketing Land, examining social influence metrics and the primary players: Klout, Kred and PeerIndex. Well researched and worth reading:

Related post:

(Image via The Contract Recruiter under Creative Commons license.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. NevilleHobson.eu

    […] The reality of influence discrimination Do people discriminate against you because of your score or rank from an influence measurement service like Klout? A thought-provoking post by Kerry Gorgone writing in Marketing Profs argues that, yes… […]

  2. Chris Lee

    Thanks for writing this, saves me ranting about it. Anyone who uses Klout, PeerIndex etc. as a recruitment metric needs a rethink.

    My Klout score was really good until I joined an agency where I spent a year creating content and engagement for a leading household brand client. Thousands more people worldwide were engaging/sharing/acting upon the content we were producing and seeding as a team, so while I had genuine online influence in the REAL world, I didn’t have time to tweet as much as I’d like and my Klout score dropped 20 points. If anyone with that mindset you describe had looked at me then they’d have said “this guy doesn’t get digital” when the converse was actually correct.

    Online scores are worth looking at, but only within context and with a kilo of salt.

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