LinkedIn for Personnel Recruitment and Selection: A New Zealand perspective

Author: Heynes, Seth James

Date: 2015

Publisher: University of Waikato

Type: Thesis

Link to this item using this URL:

University of Waikato


This study explored how the professional networking site LinkedIn is being used and perceived by recruitment and selection practitioners within New Zealand organisations. In recent times LinkedIn has seen large increases in membership and it has become a resource used by recruitment and selection practitioners. LinkedIn is conceptualised as a professional networking site which can be perceived differently to social networking sites such as Facebook. Specifically this study sought to determine how common the usage of LinkedIn was, the features being used by recruitment and selection practitioners, how these features affect or influence perceptions and decision making of recruitment and selection practitioners, and if LinkedIn was being used alongside Social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Participants were recruited from various New Zealand university alumni groups, professional membership groups and various organisations. Eligibility for the research required individuals to be conducting the role of either recruitment or selection within their current positions within New Zealand. The final sample consisted of 135 participants, and descriptive and thematic analysis was conducted on the survey responses. The results indicated that 66.4% of the sample were using LinkedIn for both personnel recruitment and selection. LinkedIn was used more for recruitment purposes with both recruitment and selection practitioners indicating that LinkedIn can be perceived as a resource for recruitment and selection. Results further indicated that many organisations did not maintain any formal policy regarding LinkedIn use within recruitment and selection procedures. Results indicated that the most frequently used features of LinkedIn were the Profile, and Jobs & Hiring features. The professional information sub feature, alongside previous experience and qualifications obtained, was perceived to be the most important and it influenced aspects of recruitment and selection decision making. Facebook was indicated to be the most used social networking site alongside LinkedIn, with 88% of participants having reported using Facebook for recruitment and selection. The results also showed that recruitment and selection practitioners perceive many disadvantages of LinkedIn such as lack of credibility, inaccuracy of information and that LinkedIn may not be appropriate for certain job roles. However, LinkedIn was perceived as a resource which maintained beneficial professional information. As stated by Barber (1998, as cited in Breaugh & Starke, 2000), this research has sought to address gaps in the literature regarding practitioners’ attitudes towards recruitment sources and to investigate influencing aspects on recruiter and selectors’ decision making. The research addresses both of these aspects by highlighting attitudes of practitioners towards LinkedIn and identifies some of the more influential features of LinkedIn on practitioners’ decision making. This is beneficial for practitioners as it indicates the positive and the negative aspects of LinkedIn which is a scarcely researched topic while also addressing the research gaps mentioned by Barber (1998). The current research has confirmed LinkedIn as a resource for recruitment and selection; however, LinkedIn lacks predictive validity and future research, such as predictive validation studies could be conducted to identify whether LinkedIn provides any incremental validity beyond the traditional predictors of job performance.

Subjects: Recruitment, Selection, LinkedIn, Professional networking

Citation: ["Heynes, S. J. (2015). LinkedIn for Personnel Recruitment and Selection: A New Zealand perspective (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from"]

Copyright: All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.