Kent State Researcher Studies LinkedIn as Employee Selection Tool

Research conducted by Julia Levashina, Ph.D., associate professor of management at Kent State University, shows how hiring managers infer applicants’ characteristics based on their social media profiles and make hiring decisions based on these inferences.
According to a recent Career Builder survey, 70 percent of employers use social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, to screen and assess candidates during the hiring process.

 

Hiring managers infer applicants’ characteristics based on their social media profiles and make hiring decisions based on these inferences. However, there is little academic research that could be used to justify such inferences.

 

Research conducted by Julia Levashina, Ph.D., associate professor of management at Kent State University, along with her colleague Nicolas Roulin, associate professor of industrial/organizational psychology at Saint Mary's University in Canada, contributes to filling in this gap. Their paper, “LinkedIn as a New Selection Method: Psychometric Properties and Assessment Approach,” was recently published in Personnel Psychology.

 

“The purpose of our study was to provide a systematic assessment of LinkedIn as a new selection tool,” Dr. Levashina said. “We focused on LinkedIn and not Facebook because LinkedIn was created as a professional social media platform, whereas Facebook is more of a personal platform.”

 

Based on two studies, the researchers demonstrated that LinkedIn profiles could be used to make inferences about job applicants’ visible skills (such as leadership, communication and planning), personality traits (such as extraversion) and cognitive ability. However, hiring managers are not recommended to use LinkedIn profiles to assess less visible skills (such as conflict management or adaptability) and personality traits (such as conscientiousness and emotional stability). 

 

The researchers also demonstrate that hiring recommendations based on LinkedIn profiles are influenced by the job applicant’s LinkedIn profile length, photo and number of connections. It was found that other features of LinkedIn profiles (such as listing more skills, collecting endorsements, joining groups or describing volunteering involvements) had a negligible impact on hiring recommendations.

 

The researchers also stressed the importance of using structured itemized LinkedIn assessment instead of relying on global judgments.

 

At Kent State, Dr. Levashina teaches and conducts research in human resource management. She has conducted research on faking and faking detection in structured employment interviews, the use of the response elaboration technique and bogus items to detect and decrease faking in biodata measures and the use of blatant extreme responding and unlikely virtue scales in personality tests. She has published research in Management and Psychology journals including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology and International Journal of Selection and Assessment.

 

About Kent State University's College of Business Administration

 

Kent State University's College of Business Administration is among the fewer than 1 percent of business schools worldwide to obtain dual Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in both business and accounting. The college boasts 10 undergraduate majors, 14 minors and a Professional Sales Certificate program; master's degrees in accounting, business administration (MBA and EMBA), business analytics and economics; as well as a Ph.D. program with concentrations in accounting, finance, information systems, management and marketing.

 

Kent State's College of Business Administration ranks as a top business college in Ohio and the number one public university in Northeast Ohio by U.S. News and World Report and is ranked as one of the nation’s Best Business Schools by The Princeton Review. The college is committed to sustainability as an advanced Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) signatory and is recognized by the Sales Education Foundation as a top university for professional sales education.

 

Media Contact:
Joni Bowen, Public Relations and Media Specialist, (330) 672-1279, cell: (330) 221-0637, jbowen1@kent.edu