Using ZMET for Investigating the Role of Social Media in the Employment Process

Open access


The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of social media in the employment setting as it is perceived by the job seekers. The study is a qualitative investigation in which thirteen in-depth interviews based on Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) were conducted in order to gain a deeper understanding of the link between social media and the process of employment. The 22 elicited bipolar constructs associated with the role of social media in the employment setting were framed into six deep metaphors: Connection, Resource, Journey, Control, Affective Distress and Transformation. The size of the sample and the deeply subjective nature of answers provided by the subject’s limits the generalization of the results for a wider range of job seekers in the social media environment. This research provids an insight into deep-seated motivations, attitudes and behaviors involved in the use of social media by job seekers.

1. Andrei, A., Zait, A. & Vatamanescu, E.-M., 2015. Youths' trust in banking. An exploratory study among romanian consumers. In: A. Roman, S. G. Anton & I. Bilan, eds. Euro and the european banking system: Evolutions and challenges. Iasi: Editura Universităţii „Alexandru Ioan Cuza”, pp. 25-34.

2. Anghelcev, G., Chung, M.-Y., Sar, S. & Duff, B. R., 2015. A ZMET based analysis of perceptions of climate change among young South Koreans. Journal of Social Marketing, 5(1), pp. 56-82.

3. Aral, Sinan, Dellarocas, Chrysanthos & Godes, David, 2013. Introduction to the Special Issue-Social Media and Business Transformation: A Framework for Research. Information Systems Research, Volume 24:1, pp. 3-13.

4. Bagley, C., Clarkson, G. & Power, R., 2006. Deep Links: Business School Students’ Perceptions of the Role of Law and Ethics in Business. Working Paper, pp. 1-34.

5. Bologna, M., 2014. Social Media strategies in recruiting, hiring pose legal risks for employers. HRfocus, 91(5), pp. 1-4.

6. Buffardi, L. & Campbell, W., 2008. Narcissism and social networking sites. Personality and Social Psychology Bulettin, 34(3), pp. 597-626.

7. Caers, R. & Castelyns, V., 2011. LinkedIn and Facebook in Belgium: the influences and biases of social network sites in recruitment and selection procedures. Social Science Computer Review, 29(4), pp. 437-448.

8. Chen, P.-J., 2010. Differences between male and female sport event tourists: A qualitative study. International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 29, p. 277-290.

9. Chen, P.-J., 2016. From fantasy to reality: Transformation of native visitor experiences. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), p. 985-991.

10. Christensen, G. & Olson, J., 2002. Mapping consumers' mental models with ZMET. Psychology and Marketing, 19(6), pp. 477-501.

11. Coulter, R., Zaltman, G. & Coulter, K., 2001. Interpreting Consumer Perceptions of Advertising: An Application of the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique. Journal of Advertising, 30(4).

12. Donald, H., Rosen, P. & Mossholder, K., 2012. Social Networking Websites, personality ratings and the organizational context: more than meets the eye?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42(5), pp. 1143-1172.

13. Drouin, M., O’Connor, K. W., Schmidt, G. B. & Miller, D. A., 2015. Facebook fired: Legal perspectives and young adults’ opinions on the use of social media in hiring and firing decisions. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 46, p. 123-128.

14. El Ouirdi, M., El Ouirdi, A., Segers, J. & Pais, I., 2016. Technology adoption in employee recruitment: The case of social media in Central and Eastern Europe. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 57, pp. 240-249.

15. El Ouirdi, M., Segers, J., El Ouirdi, A. & Pais, I., 2015. Predictors of job seekers’ selfdisclosure on social media. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 53, p. 1-12.

16. Eren, E. & Vardarher, P., 2013. Social Media's Role in Developing an Employees Sense of Belonging in the Work Place as an HRM Strategy. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 99, p. 852 - 860.

17. Gemius, 2016. Cine folosește Facebook în România. Profilul utilizatorilor de pe desktop, s.l.: s.n.

18. Gibbs Jr., R. W., 1993. Process and products in making sense of tropes. In: A. Ortony, ed. Metaphor and Thought. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 252-276.

19. Harper, D., 2002. Talking about pictures: a case for photo elicitation. Visual Studies, 17(1), pp. 13-26.

20. Janta, H. & Ladkin, A., 2013. In search of employment: online technologies and polish migrants. New Technology, Work and Employment, 28(3), pp. 241-253.

21. Jobvite, 2016. Jobvite Job Seeker Nation, s.l.: s.n.

22. Joy, A., Sherry, J. J., Venkatesh, A. & Deschenes, J., 2009. Perceiving images and telling tales: A visual and verbal analysis of the meaning of the internet. Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 19, p. 556- 566.

23. Kaplan, A. M. & Haenlein, M., 2010. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, Volume 53, p. 59-68.

24. Khoo-Lattimore, C. & Prideaux, B., 2013. ZMET: a psychological approach to understanding unsustainable. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 21, No. 7(Psychological and behavioural approaches to understanding and governing sustainable mobility), p. 1036-1048.

25. Kövecses, Z., 2010. Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

26. Kwok, L., 2011. Seeking jobs on social media: are you ready?. Hosteur, 20(2), pp. 13-19.

27. Ladkin, A. & Buhalis, D., 2016. Online and social media recruitment: Hospitality employer and prospective employee considerations. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(2), pp. 327-345.

28. Lakoff, G., 1993. The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor. In: A. Ortony, ed. Metaphor and Thought. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 202-251.

29. Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M., 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

30. Lam, H., 2016. Social media dilemmas in the employment context. Employee Relations, 38(3), pp. 420-437.

31. Lee, M. S., McGoldrick, P. J., Keeling, K. A. & Doherty, J., 2003. Using ZMET to explore barriers to the adoption of 3G mobile banking services. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 31(6), pp. 340-348.

32. Lee-Won, R., Shim, M., Kyoung, Y. & Gwan, P., 2014. Whom puts the best face forward on Facebook? Positive self-presentation in online social networking and the role of self-consciousness, actual-to-total Friends ration and culture. Computers in Human Behaviour, 39(1), pp. 413-423.

33. Ling, I.-L., Yang, C.-M., Liu, Y.-F. & Tsai, Y.-H., 2009. Penetrating adolescents' mental models of MP3 with ZMET. Adolescence, Volume 44 No. 176, pp. 949-963.

34. Liu, M.-T. & Liu, K.-T., 2013. Consensus Model of Click-Through Thoughts of Web Surfers. Asia Pacific Management Review, 18(2), pp. 161-180.

35. Madia, S. A., 2011. Best practices for using social media as a recruitment strategy. Strategic HR Review, 10(6), pp. 19-24.

36. Nagendra, A., 2014. Paradigm Shift in HR Practices on Employee Life Cycle Due to Influence of Social Media. Procedia Economics and Finance, Volume 11, p. 197 - 207.

37. Ollier-Malaterre, A. & Rothbard, N. P., 2015. Social media or social minefield? Surviving in the new cyberspace era. Organizational Dynamics, Volume 44, p. 26-34.

38. Poba-Nzaou, P., Lemieux, N., Beaupré, D. & Uwizeyemungu, S., 2016. Critical challenges associated with the adoption of social media: A Delphi of a panel of Canadian human resources managers. Journal of Business Research, Volume 69, p. 4011-4019.

39. Rutter, R., Roper, S. & Lettice, F., 2016. Social media interaction, the university brand and recruitment performance. Journal of Business Research, Volume 69, pp. 3096 -3104.

40. Smith, W. & Kidder, D., 2010. You have been tagged! (Then again, maybe not): Employers and Facebook. Business Horizons, Volume 53, pp. 491-499.

41. Statista, 2016. Number of internet users worldwide from 2005 to 2016 (in millions), s.l.: s.n.

42. Sugai, P., 2005. Mapping the mind of the mobile consumer across borders: An application of the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique. International Marketing Review, 22(6), pp. 641 - 657.

43. Vorderer, P., Krömer, N. & Schneider, F. M., 2016. Permanently online e Permanentlyconnected: Explorations into university students’ use of social media and mobile smart devices. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 63, pp. 694 - 703.

44. Warden, C. A. & Chen, J. F., 2009. When hot and noisy is good: Chinese values of renao and consumption metaphors. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 21(2), pp. 216 - 231.

45. Wilson, E. J. & Elliot, E. A., 2016. Brand meaning in higher education: Leaving theshallows via deep metaphors. Journal of Business Research, Volume 69, p. 3058-3068.

46. Zaltman, G., 1995. Metaphor Elicitation Method and Apparatus. United States Patent, no. 5436830, 25 July.

47. Zaltman, G., 1996. Metaphorically speaking. Marketing Research, 8(9), pp. 13-21.

48. Zaltman, G., 1997. Rethinking market research: putting people back in. Journal of Marketing Research, 34(4), pp. 424-437.

49. Zaltman, G., 2003. How customers think. Boston: Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.

50. Zaltman, G. & Coulter, R. H., 1995. Seeing the voice of the customer: metaphor-based. Journal of Advertising Research, 35(4), pp. 35-51.

51. Zaltman, G. & Zaltman, L. H., 2008. Marketing Metaphoria. What Deep MetaphorsReveal About the Minds of Consumers. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.

52. Zelist, 2016. Overview social media in .ro - iunie 2016, s.l.: s.n.

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 207 135 8
PDF Downloads 114 94 5