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Modern Hire Reveals New Research on the Effectiveness of Social Media in Hiring

Research from Modern Hire’s team of Ph.D. industrial-organizational psychologists and data scientists finds social media is not a valid hiring tool for predicting fit-for-hire

CLEVELAND and DELAFIELD, Wisc. (Sept. 21, 2021) — Modern Hire, the leading enterprise hiring platform for predicting job performance and fit, today released new research revealing that social media is not a valid or predictive hiring tool, cautioning recruiters on the risks of incorporating it into their hiring practices and platforms.

A recent white paper, What Does the Science Say: Social Media in Hiring, features a study conducted by Modern Hire’s team of advanced-degree industrial-organizational psychologists and data scientists, who set out to understand the validity of social media as a hiring tool by investigating whether any relevant information from a candidate’s LinkedIn profile is related to on-the-job performance.

Specifically, Modern Hire’s study focused on job candidates in sales positions, measuring success on the job with employees’ sales performance metrics. With few exceptions, Modern Hire’s research results suggest that an employee’s LinkedIn profile elements are not strongly correlated with their sales performance metrics, meaning using LinkedIn profiles for candidate selection and vetting is not shown to be predictive of candidates’ on-the-job performance.

“Social media is increasingly being leveraged in the hiring process  without much policy or guidance around it,” said Eric Sydell, Ph.D. and EVP of Innovation at Modern Hire. “Our latest research demonstrates that, at least at this time, using social media in the hiring process offers little to no scientific value, and can even have an adverse impact on candidates during the recruiting and hiring process.”

While using social media as a hiring tool can be an innovative way to engage with candidates, it can also introduce bias into the hiring process. Many social media platforms contain protected class information, and as a result, using social media for anything beyond identifying prospective candidates –– especially when it comes to the evaluation and selection stages –– increases the risk of unconscious bias and adverse impact in the hiring process.

Additionally, many candidates are not aware that their social media posts will be used by recruiters and hiring managers as part of the hiring evaluation process. With the exception of LinkedIn, prominent social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were built for personal –– not professional –– use, and it is not clear whether candidates intend for potential employers to use this information in hiring situations. As an alternative to leveraging social media in the hiring process, Modern Hire’s research suggests that recruiters should focus on using unbiased hiring practices that start with quality data, as well as predictive hiring tools that are validated and fair.

“It’s difficult to predict what the future may hold for the use of social media in hiring,” said Mike Hudy, Ph.D. and Chief Science Officer at Modern Hire. “With the rapid, constant evolution in social media functionality and user preferences, practices that may be fair and legally defensible today could become outdated virtually overnight. It’s important to choose hiring strategies and technologies that are scientifically proven to improve hiring experiences for candidates and results for companies.”

Modern Hire’s research is powered by CognitIOn™ by Modern Hire, the company’s industry-leading science that represents its cutting-edge capability and expertise in data science, predictive analytics, AI and industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology. Modern Hire’s research has been widely published in several academic journals, including the Journal of Applied Psychology and the International Journal of Selection and Assessment, and has been presented at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).

For more information and to download Modern Hire’s new research report, What Does the Science Say: Social Media in Hiring, visit: https://modernhire.com/what-does-the-science-say-social-media-in-hiring/. To learn more about Modern Hire’s award-winning, science-based enterprise hiring platform, please visit https://modernhire.com/platform/.

About Modern Hire 
Modern Hire’s intelligent hiring platform transforms each step of the process with screening, assessment, interview and workflow automation tools that make hiring more effective, efficient, ethical and engaging.  Modern Hire is differentiated by its advanced selection science and is trusted by more than 700 leading global enterprises and nearly half the Fortune 100.  To learn more about the company’s commitment to seriously better hiring, visit www.modernhire.com.