Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 57

Hiring Decisions

through structured mock hiring processes.
This would allow graduate assistants to gain
similar experiences and develop competencies within a lower risk context where actual
staffing decisions are not being made. However, Cooper et al.'s (2016) analysis of program curricula would suggest opportunities
of this nature are rarely present.

Hiring Influences and Racial Identity
Staff diversity had a strong influence on
hiring decisions between both full-time
staff and graduate assistants, with reported
means of 4.42 and 4.49. However, White respondents reported statistically significantly
lower influence in regards to decision making based on staff diversity compared to participants of color, t(127) = -2.042, p = .043,
d = .44. This difference represented a medium effect size. This may likely relate to the
lived experiences of participants from marginalized backgrounds, within employment
and job settings, and suggests that additional
training on the role of diversity and inclusion within hiring practices could continue
to positively impact White hiring officials.
Additionally, these findings may also suggest
that People of Color with hiring responsibilities have a firm belief that representation in
campus leadership roles do matter, especially to other college students of color on campus. A 2016 report from the U. S. Department of Education supported this finding
and asserted that a diverse representation
of campus leadership across various levels
at an institution helps achieve a diverse and
inclusive campus climate (U. S. Department
of Education, 2016).

	
White participants also reported statistically significantly lower influence by a candidate's social media activity compared to
participants of color with a medium to large
effect size, t(109) = -3.486, p = .001, d = .71.
This may be explained by a heightened awareness, in regards to potential issues of diversity, for a hiring supervisor of color and the
perception that any biases or polarizing views
a candidate possesses are easier to gauge on
social media rather than in an interview setting or another part of the RA selection process. Social media grants people a voice and
empowers them in their online interactions
(Saxton & Waters, 2014). A person's engagement in activities on a social media platform
involves emotional immersion (Smith &
Taylor, 2017). Furthermore, hiring supervisors are increasingly using social media sites
as screening tools for employment (Root &
McKay, 2014). Root and McKay (2014) found
that college students did not view their social
media posts and photo tags by friends to be
important to potential employers, a perception in stark contrast to what research suggests. Additionally, this study also revealed
that college students perceived grammar,
spelling, and overall communication skills
to be unimportant to potential employers,
contrasting research findings once again
(Fischer, 2013). An interesting finding of the
Root and McKay study (2014), however, was
that a general awareness existed on the part
of students that potential employers would
consider posts dealing with negative comments, drugs, alcohol, sex, and profanity
to be important information considered in

Additionally, participants were more confident in
their own personal evaluation than their departments'
selection processes.
54

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