Business Briefs: What Does Your LinkedIn Say, Do Automated Hiring Systems Work & “Woke” Marketing

Welcome to Business Briefs! The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

What does LinkedIn Tell Us? Not Much.

Researchers took 154 people and collected test data on their personalities, intelligence and team-based behaviors. 

Then the researchers used 200 hiring-professionals, six industrial psychologists, and software-based tools to assess the LinkedIn profiles of those 154 people. 

The cool news is that the LinkedIn assessments of the hiring-professionals and software tools were roughly consistent with each other. 

The harsh news was that none of the assessments based on LinkedIn profiles were very accurate to earlier collected data on the 154 people. That is, the assessments of their LinkedIn profiles seemed inconsistent with reality. The only vague areas where the LinkedIn profile assessments seemed to suggest something remotely accurate was with respect to humility, and possibly intelligence. 

Further, the researchers noted that while both hiring-professional and software assessments looked more favorably on people with lots of LinkedIn connections and listed skills, those profiles did not seem to be associated with people who were especially gifted outside of LinkedIn. 

Read more here

LinkedIn-based assessments of applicant personality, cognitive ability, and likelihood of organizational citizenship behaviors: Comparing self-, other-, and language-based automated ratings – Nicolas Roulin and Rhea Stronach, International Journal of Selection and Assessment

About Automated Hiring Systems

Automated hiring systems are nice. Especially when it comes to job openings that are flooded with resumes. Managers can apply the automated software feature, and BOOM, it sifts through the submitted resumes to find the golden candidate. 

Well, that’s how they should work. But a recent audit ot two of the most popular systems, Humanistic AI and Crystal, showed some interesting features that might give you pause. 

More precisely, the team found that the automated scoring on a single resume was unstable, it changed over time. And that a single resume could earn different scores depending on whether it was submitted as a PDF or Word document. 

The resarch team’s conclusion was that the systems were too unstable to be used in hiring. 

Read more here

Resume Format, LinkedIn URLs and Other Unexpected Influences on AI Personality Prediction in Hiring: Results of an Audit – Alene Rhea, Kelsey Markey, Lauren D’Arinzo, Hilke Schellmann, Mona Sloane, Paul Squires, & Julia Stoyanovich, AIES Proceedings


Marketing researchers have focused their inquiries on the effectiveness of “woke” marketing. It’s a strategy used by companies that capitalizes on social issues as a way to lure customers. Think in terms of Gillette, Nike and Patagonia. Those businesses have historically taken prominent woke positions. 

While capitalizing on a social issue might seem a little manipulative, to be fair, 62% of customers expect businesses to take a position on social issues. So, we’re essentially asking for it.  

Now, sometimes woke works in marketing. Sometimes, it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t work, the backlash can be unpleasant. The authors of a recent analysis identify three practices that can help protect a business from backlash in a woke campaign.

  1. Inclusiveness -that is, avoiding practices that alienate groups of people
  2. Sacrifice – demonstrating a willingness to risk lower profitability for a cause
  3. History – taking consistent holistic social stances

That is, it’s not just the woke statement, it’s how you say it. 

Read more here

Woke brand activism authenticity or the lack of it. – Abas Mirzaei, Dean Wilkie, and Helen Siuki, Journal of Business Research