Matthieu Manant has participated to the 30th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association (EEA) that hold at the University of Mannheim from August 24th to August 27th. He presented a paper co-written with Serge Pajak and Nicolas Soulié: “Online Social Networks and Hiring: a Field Experiment on the French Labor Market” (MPRA Paper n°60403).
Abstract: The advance of social network sites is allowing employers to screen applicants’ online profiles to obtain additional personal information without applicants’ awareness. We investigate whether employers rely on such online information when deciding to call an applicant for interview. We set-up a field experiment over a 12-month period, involving more than 800 applications from two fictitious applicants which differed in a signal — their perceived origins – available only from their Facebook profiles. A significant 37% gap between the two applicants highlights that personal online profiles are used to screen and select applicants. For most recruiters, Facebook profiles have become a new, reliable, informal source of information on applicants. An unexpected change in the Facebook layout altered the display of our online signal. This natural experiment gives us some insight into the existence of search costs for recruiters when screening a personal online profile.