Speaker: Kyung Sun (Melissa) Rhee, Information Systems & Operations Management, University of Washington
Title: Social Hiring: The Right LinkedIn Connection that Helps You Land a Job
Abstract: This study investigates the characteristics of professional network connections that help individuals get a job referral. Focusing on the job seeker-employee dyadic tie, we examine how job similarity between an employee and a job seeker influences the likelihood of achieving a referral. In addition, we explore how hierarchical job level difference and gender homophily between a job seeker and an employee moderates the effect of job similarity on referral. Using unique data from a Fortune 500 global consulting company that utilizes LinkedIn connections for its hiring, we find that the likelihood of referral decreases as the job similarity between an employee and a job seeker increases. This result indicates that job seekers are less likely to be referred from employees who are doing similar jobs. We propose that this adverse job similarity effect is due to competition. That is, employees tend to prevent themselves from potential competitors. We further find that this competition effect is relieved as the hierarchical difference between a referring employee and a job seeker increases. Although we expect the gender homophily between a job seeker and an employee would be strong enough to dilute the competition effect, our result reveals that gender homophily does not overcome the adverse impact of job similarity on referral. Our findings suggest that job seekers need to be aware that not all connections of a professional online network are instrumental in getting a job referral.
Bio: Melissa is aPhD student in Information Systems at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington. Her current research interests center around interactions of online and offline networks. Topics vary across the sharing economy, transportation network dynamics and user networks in social media. Melissa mainly applies econometric models and machine learning techniques to answer her research questions.