3 questions on LinkedIn recruitment you always asked yourself

1 May, 2018

Have you always wondered how HR professional use LinkedIn to screen potential candidates?

For his EHL Bachelor Thesis, Christoph Herren explored on personality drawn from information on LinkedIn and its implication on hireability. Today, he shares some of the results he found and answers 3 questions on LinkedIn recruitment you always asked yourself:

1. Do recruiters when assessing a LinkedIn profile consciously and/or subconsciously perceive personality traits through the profile picture? 

Among the recruiters interviewed for the study, a correlation was found between the amount one smiles in the profile picture and the perceived agreeableness. So if you wish to boost your hireability, make sure you smile on your LinkedIn profile picture or any picture for that matter.

2. Which cues from a LinkedIn profile can be linked to perceived personality? 

The amount of work related experience, the length of the description of work related experience, as well as the background of the profile picture correlate to perceived extraversion. Perceived agreeableness is correlated to work related experience, as well as to the amount one smiles in the profile picture, the amount of Projects and Volunteering experiences and the length of the description of work. For the perceived Emotional Stability positive correlations can be found in the amount of posts, the activity of a profile and in projects and volunteer experience. Ultimately, perceived openness correlates positively with the number of connections, the length of summary, the number of work related experience, the length of description of work, as well as the amount of languages spoken.

3. Which cues from a LinkedIn profile can be linked to hireability? 

Professional experience seems to be one of the best and most reliable predictors for hireability. Other important cues include endorsements and recommendations. Any additional experience that is presented on a LinkedIn profile, an example for this could be Projects and Volunteering, hence work and interests apart from the normal job are add-ons to one's profile and perceived by recruiters as positive aspects towards hireability.

100% of interviewees use LinkedIn to screen potential candidates

When looking at a LinkedIn profile, the recruiters interviewed mainly look for employment history, education, years of experience and the way applicants present themselves online. 

The main factors for dismissing a candidate are:

  • Spelling and/or grammatical mistakes
  • Unprofessional email addresses
  • The absence of a profile picture.

The study

The study analysed 160 LinkedIn profiles from final year students from EHL regarding perceived personality traits (conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, openness to Change) and perceived hireability for 35 recruiters (5 profiles/recruiter).

Read the full study

Author: Christoph Herren, AEHL 2016

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