AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction


For human resource (HR) departments, screening job applicants is an integral role in acquiring talent. Many HR departments have begun to turn to social networks to better understand job candidates’ character. Using social networks as a screening tool might provide insights not readily available from resumes or initial interviews. However, requiring access to an applicants’ social networks and the private activities occurring therein—a practice currently legal in 29 U.S. states (Deschenaux, 2015)—could induce strong moral reactions from the job candidates because of a perceived loss of information privacy. Subsequently, such disclosure requests could induce job candidates to respond in a multitude of ways to protect their privacy. Given that an estimated 2.55 billion individuals will use social media worldwide by 2017 (eMarketer, 2013), the repercussions from requests for access social media environments have potentially far-reaching effects. In this research, we examine how one such disclosure request impacted six information privacy protective responses (IPPRs) (Son & Kim, 2008) based on the job candidates’ perceived moral judgment and the perceived moral intensity of the HR disclosure request. These responses occurred when we asked respondents to provide personal login information during a hypothetical interview. By modeling data derived from a sample of 250 participants in PLS-SEM, we found that the five IPPRs (i.e., refusal, negative word of mouth, complaining to friends, complaining to the company, and complaining to third parties) were all significant responses when one judged the request to be immoral and perceived the moral intensity concept of immediate harm. The amount of variance explained by these five IPPRs ranged from 17.7 percent to 38.7 percent, which indicates a solid initial foundation from which future research can expand on this HR issue. Implications for academia and practice are discussed.