Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



In today’s world, it seems everyone has a profile on at least one social networking website. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have millions of users. As such, it should come to no surprise that information contained on these sites is being used in various ways. One of the more controversial uses of this information is to screen potential job applicants during the hiring process. Indeed, a growing trend among organizations has been to gather data on applicants in order to identify better employees. However, there is a growing concern about how applicants will react to this practice. Unfavorable reactions to selection procedures may have negative impacts such as decreased organizational attraction, a loss of qualified applicants, and potential litigation troubles. This study examined applicant reactions to the use of information from different types of social networking websites during hiring processes. Using organizational justice as the framework, participants judged the perceived fairness of using information from different SNWs, and how these perceptions impacted organizational attractiveness and job pursuit intentions. Furthermore, this study examined invasion of privacy perceptions as an antecedent to the fairness perceptions. The results showed that procedural justice rules, including job relatedness and opportunity to perform, were significantly related to fairness perceptions, which influenced the job-related outcomes. In addition, privacy concerns were also significantly related to fairness perceptions of the selection procedure. Overall, the study suggests that participants feel that using information from social networking websites may violate privacy, influencing perceptions of fairness and most importantly, make the applicant feel the organization is not a good place to work. Moreover, these practices may not be seen as related to the job and don’t provide an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the work. Therefore, organizations should evaluate this practice carefully as it could have serious implications for their applicant pool and overall organization.



Committee Chair

Hicks, Jason