Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

Is Workplace Justice Blind? Social Media Use in Employee Selection

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

In the past decade, social networking websites (SNSs), such as Facebook, have invaded most aspects of modern life. One aspect where we have seen this invasion is the work environment, and, in particular, the pre-employment process, where hiring managers use SNSs as a means to learn information about potential employees. Social media screening may not only make potential employees cautious of what they post online, but is also likely invoking feelings of workplace injustice. Perceptions of workplace justice have been linked to job engagement and organizational attraction. The focus of this study was on two facets of organizational justice: procedural justice (i.e., fairness of a process) and interactional justice (i.e., fairness regarding interpersonal treatment). This study investigated social media’s role in employee selection and how it relates to potential employee attitudes toward a company. By measuring participants’ attitudes when told that their Facebook profiles would be taken into consideration in determining their job ability, their feelings of procedural justice were assessed and compared to a control group. To measure interactional justice, participants were divided into two conditions: participants in condition A (i.e., the high justice condition) were given clear explanation of the rationale behind using social media as an evaluation tool and shown empathy, whereas participants in condition B (i.e., the low justice condition) were provided with no information and shown no empathy. Our objectives included determining participant attitudes toward a company that uses SNS evaluations in hiring, measuring applicants’ perceptions of workplace injustice when going through this type of selection process, and determining to what extent sensitivity and explanation can affect these feelings of justice. Our hypotheses were as follows: 1) Social media screening will lower perceptions of procedural justice, and 2) empathy and increased communication of the basis for SNS evaluation use will raise perceptions of interactional justice.

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Is Workplace Justice Blind? Social Media Use in Employee Selection

In the past decade, social networking websites (SNSs), such as Facebook, have invaded most aspects of modern life. One aspect where we have seen this invasion is the work environment, and, in particular, the pre-employment process, where hiring managers use SNSs as a means to learn information about potential employees. Social media screening may not only make potential employees cautious of what they post online, but is also likely invoking feelings of workplace injustice. Perceptions of workplace justice have been linked to job engagement and organizational attraction. The focus of this study was on two facets of organizational justice: procedural justice (i.e., fairness of a process) and interactional justice (i.e., fairness regarding interpersonal treatment). This study investigated social media’s role in employee selection and how it relates to potential employee attitudes toward a company. By measuring participants’ attitudes when told that their Facebook profiles would be taken into consideration in determining their job ability, their feelings of procedural justice were assessed and compared to a control group. To measure interactional justice, participants were divided into two conditions: participants in condition A (i.e., the high justice condition) were given clear explanation of the rationale behind using social media as an evaluation tool and shown empathy, whereas participants in condition B (i.e., the low justice condition) were provided with no information and shown no empathy. Our objectives included determining participant attitudes toward a company that uses SNS evaluations in hiring, measuring applicants’ perceptions of workplace injustice when going through this type of selection process, and determining to what extent sensitivity and explanation can affect these feelings of justice. Our hypotheses were as follows: 1) Social media screening will lower perceptions of procedural justice, and 2) empathy and increased communication of the basis for SNS evaluation use will raise perceptions of interactional justice.