Titus, Tatiana (2016) Generation Y: Using Social Media for Job Searching?: An exploratory study of how Generation Y job seekers use social media to fulfil their job searching needs. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.
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The interconnectedness produced from the exponential growth of social media use in everyday life, has revolutionized the way people connect and interact with each other. The purpose of this study is to explore how Generation Y job seekers utilize social media platforms as a medium for creating occupational opportunities. This is done using qualitative data collected and analyzed from 10 in-depth interviews with Generation Y graduate students at the National College of Ireland. The results indicate that Generation Y job seekers are engaging in a plethora of job seeking activities, some of which extend well beyond social media, and interestingly, incorporate traditional approaches, challenging the popular notion of Generation Y users as fundamentally technologically oriented. Further, there appears to be a distinct differentiation between the perceived functionality of social media platforms, with respondents indicating a clear delineation between professional and personal usage. Despite this distinction, users indicated strategically managing all their social media accounts in an effort to manage their online presence. Lastly, and interestingly, students were aware of recruiters and employers conducting background checks on their social media profiles; despite disapproving of this phenomenon, it became apparent that in a similar fashion, they were conducting their own ‘reverse background checks’ to learn more about a recruiter and/or organization. The implications of this study outline a need for academic institutions to standardize social media education within their curriculums in order to maximize graduate students’ abilities to capitalize on this technology. Furthermore, organizations need to re-evaluate how they are connecting with job seekers on social media and maximize their engagement potential by communicating with their target audience on relevant platforms. And lastly, this research suggests that employees have become de facto representatives of the organization, indicating a need for organizations to evaluate how this may affect their employer brand.
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