To Be or Not to Be on Social Media: How Social Media Content Impacts Recruitment

53 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2022 Last revised: 12 Feb 2024

See all articles by Edmund Baker

Edmund Baker

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics

Veronika Grimm

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics

Yuval Ofek-Shanny

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics

Date Written: February 1, 2024

Abstract

This paper extends the literature studying the effect of social media content on the evaluation of job candidates. In a large-scale online experiment that resembles real-life screening of candidates for a job in the hospitality sector, we find that information available on social media through hashtags and liked pages can have a substantial and significant effect on a candidate's chances of obtaining a good rating. Candidates with social media content indicating mental health problems receive lower ratings by an amount equivalent to the effect of having three years on-the-job experience. Interestingly, candidates with no social media profile receive even lower ratings than candidates with mental health problems. In addition, unappealing social media content leads to the strongest reduction in ratings, equivalent to the value of nine years of on-the-job experience. These findings persist across participant pools, including both the general public and experienced recruiters, highlighting social media's substantial and likely increasing role in the hiring process.

Keywords: Recruitment, Online Experiment, Social Media, Mental Health, Employment Gap

JEL Classification: D83, J64, J79

Suggested Citation

Baker, Edmund and Grimm, Veronika and Ofek-Shanny, Yuval, To Be or Not to Be on Social Media: How Social Media Content Impacts Recruitment (February 1, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4295354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4295354

Edmund Baker

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Veronika Grimm

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Nuremburg
Germany

Yuval Ofek-Shanny (Contact Author)

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Lange Gasse 20
Nuremberg, 90403
Germany

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