Recruiting through social media: Is it aligned with Gen Yers behaviors? An insight from the Italian labour market

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employees, have been essentially switching on the Internet for the last decade (Ployhart, 2006). The huge success of social media is currently challenging organizations, that need to consider the ideological and technological revolution that social media brought (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). With regard to social networks, Italy has reached the top. With 86% of Internet users normally accessing social networks, Italy is the country with the highest rate of social media penetration (State of the Media: The Social Media Report. Nielsen, 2011). In such a context, organizations are considering the virtual social worlds for the opportunities they offer in the HRM domain (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009c), but empirical evidence is still scarce. The few academic literature on the topic mainly examines successful case study and provides managerial suggestions starting from the specific features of different types of social networks (Henderson & Bowley, 2010). On the base of the perceived P-O fit framework (Ostroff & Judge, 2007) and stretching the marketing literature on brand engagement through the social media (Evans, 2008; Mazurek, 2009), our study aims at going a step forward in understanding how social media can better sustain the employer branding and recruitment activities, also considering the needs and expectations of prospective employees and professionals. According to the exploratory nature of the study, the research strategy is based on semi-structured interviews with some of the most important informants. Focused on the Italian market, where the highest percentage of Internet users habitually accesses the social media, our study involved three parties: staffing specialists of some important Italian firms, professionals working for the main social media in Italy or for staffing advisory firms, and a selection of young talents who graduated with excellent results. Our main interest is to investigate in particular the perspective of young people. Our aim is to understand if they use social media when they are looking for job opportunities, what kind of activities they perform, whether they use different social network for different purposes, and what they expect or would like to find in the social media with reference to firms and job opportunities. The staffing specialists were interviewed in order to know their employer branding and recruitment strategies through the social media, as well as their opinion with reference to the future development of such activities. Our interest in interviewing the professionals was to investigate on the opportunities offered to the companies and on the future developments in terms of new services and functionalities the social media will offer in this filed. Twenty seven interviews have been collected till now. Such a research design allow us to investigate what are the habits, the needs and the expectations of young talents and to compare them with the strategies of the main Italian companies as well as with the opportunities and the programmes offered by social media and by the advisors. From a research perspective, our evidence suggests a number of new research directions for theory building, as well as for further empirical work about the role of social media in supporting the firm brand image and recruitment activities, taking into consideration the habits and expectations of Gen Yers.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaAdvanced Series in Management
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012


  • Gen Y
  • Recruitment
  • Selection process
  • Social Media


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