Social Media Screening of Job Applicants

Gruzd, A., Jacobson, J., & Dubois, E. (2017). You’re Hired: Examining Acceptance of Social Media Screening of Job Applicants. In Proceedings of the 23rd Americas Conference on Information Systems, August 10-12, 2017, Boston, MA, USA.   [Pre-print Open Access]

Abstract

The paper examines attitudes towards employers using social media to screen job applicants. In an online survey of 454 participants, we compare the comfort level with this practice in relation to different types of information that can be gathered from publicly accessible social media. The results revealed a nuanced nature of people’s information privacy expectations in the context of hiring practices. People’s perceptions of employers using social media to screen job applicants depends on (1) whether or not they are currently seeking employment (or plan to), (2) the type of information that is being accessed by a prospective employer (if the person(survey respondent) is on the job market), and (3) their cultural background, but not gender. The findings emphasize the need for employers and recruiters who are relying on social media to screen job applicants to be aware of the types of information that may be perceived to be more sensitive by applicants, such as social network-related information.