Social media profiles, recruiters and recruitment decisions

Last registered on February 12, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Social media profiles, recruiters and recruitment decisions
Initial registration date
January 28, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 28, 2022, 10:31 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
February 12, 2024, 7:49 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


Primary Investigator

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
PI Affiliation
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The importance of social media in recruitment is increasing. More and more people are open about many aspects of their personal life in their SM profiles and evidence from employers surveys and correspondence studies suggests data from social media is increasingly used and increasingly important in the hiring process.
However, correspondence studies do not identify the individual making the decision, and so, are limited in their ability to describe the mechanisms behind this result.
In our study, we use an experiment simulating the screening of job applicants to elucidate how the recruiter evaluation of the candidate is affected by the interaction between recruiter characteristics such as gender, education, and attitudes toward the social media, applicant characteristics available through social media profiles and lack of social media profile.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Baker, Edmund, Veronika Grimm and Yuval Ofek-Shanny. 2024. "Social media profiles, recruiters and recruitment decisions." AEA RCT Registry. February 12.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Application Score
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Time spent on an application, Time spent on CV, time spent on SM, note length, questionnaire information
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
While we don't measure time on CV and time on SM data separately, we intend to use the recording of the mouse click to give proxies for these measures.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects are asked to read a job description for an office manager and then to assess a number of randomly generated combinations of CVs and SM data that vary according to work experience, education, interests, and gender. Subjects are asked to give each CV a score from one to ten. SM information includes - Control SM profile, Bad SM profile, Mental health issues, Employment gap, and lack of SM profiles.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization by a computer program.

Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters

We intend to start with 100 participants, make sure the output is technically correct and then continue to the rest of the experiment.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1500X Control SM data
1500X Bad SM data
1500X Mental health issues SM data
1500X Gap (as in CV) SM data
1500X Gap (different from CV) SM data
1500X No SM data
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We calculate a power of 80% for detecting a 0.36 effect size (units: applicant score from 0 to 10) (Given Bonferroni correction for five hypotheses.)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
German Association for Experimental Economic Research e.V.
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
March 28, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
March 28, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
1500 participants, each evaluating 6 resumes, 1 for each treatment arm
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

This paper extends the literature studying the effect of social media content on the evaluation of job candidates. In a large-scale online experiment that resembles real-life screening of candidates for a job in the hospitality sector, we find that information available on social media through hashtags and liked pages can have a substantial and significant effect on a candidate's chances of obtaining a good rating. Candidates with social media content indicating mental health problems receive lower ratings by an amount equivalent to the effect of having three years on-the-job experience. Interestingly, candidates with no social media profile receive even lower ratings than candidates with mental health problems. In addition, unappealing social media content leads to the strongest reduction in ratings, equivalent to the value of nine years of on-the-job experience. These findings persist across participant pools, including both the general public and experienced recruiters, highlighting social media's substantial and likely increasing role in the hiring process.
Baker, Edmund and Grimm, Veronika and Ofek-Shanny, Yuval, To Be or Not to Be on Social Media: How Social Media Content Impacts Recruitment (December 6, 2022). Available at SSRN:

Reports & Other Materials