Influence of Social Media on Generation Y and Recruiting

Term Paper, 2016

14 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations

1 Introduction

2 Generation Y and Social Media
2.1 Generation Y
2.2 Social Media

3 Influence of Social Media on Generation Y and Recruiting
3.1 Influence of Social Media on Generation Y
3.2 Influence of Social Media on Recruiting

4 Challenges and Requirements for Recruiting Generation Y

5 Future Perspective and Conclusion

6 Bibliography

Internet Bibliography

List of Figures

Figure 1: Antecedents and Consequences of Social Media Use by Gen Y

Figure 2: The process of traditional vs. e-recruiting

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1 Introduction

Generation Y, Gen Y, Millennials or Digital Natives – nowadays different terms are used for one generation highly connected to information technology and the digital renovation of today’s life. Staying in touch with friends, family and colleagues via social media is considered as daily routine, but there is more to it. Social media has changed a lot, besides social communication it also affects businesses on many levels. Members of the Generation “Why?” are passionately scrutinising – life in general and all its facets. Using social media alters the emotions, norms, opinions and social capital of a millennial, it can extent but also substitute their social network. Moreover, when choosing a potential employer social media is a source of information and reputation for them. Vice versa, plenty of enterprises use social media as well, for different reasons such as recruiting, employer branding but also for scanning their current and future employees.

The age of Web 2.0 has changed a lot, which raises the question: How do social media influence Generation Y and how does that change recruiting processes?

First, this paper provides a general introduction into Generation Y and social media. Second, the influence of social media on Generation Y and recruiting is discussed. Afterwards, the challenges and requirements to recruit millennials through social media are examined. Concluding, a future perspective shows recent trends and then sums up the findings.

2 Generation Y and Social Media

The definitions of Generation Y and social media are the basis to give a general understanding to explain their connection and influence on each other later on.

2.1 Generation Y

There are vast definitions of the cohort of people belonging to Generation Y. In this paper, Generation Y is defined as the group of people born from 1980 to 2000.1 Furthermore, millennials of industrialised, western countries like the United States or Europe are regarded. Generally, millennials have grown up in a time without economic distress and were well-cared for, therefore they are optimistic, self-confident and individualistic.2 Whereas, due to the variety of options to choose from, in private as well as in professional life, they are disoriented and tend to be very erratic short-term employees.3 Millennials have a need for safety pursuing a long-term employment, but at the same time, they wish for flexibility and independence. They are scrutinising the meaning in life in general and demand a fair work-life-balance. Moreover, millennials expect personal development opportunities from their employers and are highly technology-oriented.4

2.2 Social Media

Generally, social media are applications to exchange and generate user-generated content online.5 Users create individual profiles for a specific website or application, hosted by social media services supporting them to connect with others, creating a social network.6 Various definitions of social media can be found in the literature, to distinct social media the criteria of media richness and social presence can be used7. Therefore, social media can be ranked by these two criteria from low to high media richness and social presence. Doing this, leads to a ranking, where collaborative projects like Wikipedia are ranked the lowest followed by personal blogs.8 Both forms allow users to provide data about a specific topic (Wikipedia) or themselves (personal blog) via text or pictures, with little interaction between other users.

A higher degree of both criteria can be found in content communities such as Youtube or Flickr. These are topped by social network sites (SNS) like Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing etc. with a high degree of user interaction and possibilities to share media via different media channels such as text, pictures, videos but also personal information, opinions and feelings. The highest degree of media richness and social presence is found in virtual game worlds and virtual social worlds. Therein, users are able to create a digital version of themselves interacting with other users around the globe.9

SNS are focused in this paper. They allow users to create a public or semi-public profile, connect with other users and add them to their networking list. Moreover, they can represent their personal social network and view the lists and interconnections of others.10 Therefore, they are able to communicate and connect with friends, family but also strangers.

3 Influence of Social Media on Generation Y and Recruiting

This chapter examines the interconnection between Generation Y’s social media usage and the influence of social media on Generation Y and vice versa. Furthermore, the influence of social media on recruiting as a part of e-recruiting is examined. The strong influence of social media on Generation Y and recruiting is depicted and the challenges for recruiting are discussed afterwards.

3.1 Influence of Social Media on Generation Y

Generation Y is strongly bound to technology, social networks from real life are partly digitalised into SNS. Millennials in their mid-twenties have spent 3,500 hours on social media platforms, 10,000 hours using their mobiles and have received 250,000 e-mails and text messages on average.11 Generally, social media users can be classified in either contributing or consuming. However, both types are influenced by social media. Figure 1 shows the antecedents and consequences of social media usage. On the left side, the antecedents are depicted, whereas on the right site the consequences can be noticed.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Antecedents and Consequences of Social Media Use by Gen Y12

The environmental factors of society influence the individual-level factors, which are split into stable and dynamic factors of each individual of Generation Y and define their values and beliefs. The antecedents are influencing the social media use of millennials in their intensity and type of use, as depicted in the centre. Vice versa, the social media use influences the dynamic factors of each individual, altering their goals, emotions, norms and identity. Consequences are shown on the right side. Social media shape individuals, enterprises and society in different ways. Moreover, the individuals influenced by social media shape the companies and society, as they are a part of them, too.13 Simultaneously, individuals, businesses and society shape social media by the content they are contributing. All parts are shaped continuously by this interaction.

Millennials’ expectations, expressions and acceptance are altered by social media interaction by which they are contributing to SNS about themselves, friends and their company and by the feedback they receive from other users.14 The emotions and norms of a millennial can be altered, e.g. the perception of social acceptable or unacceptable behaviour.15

Generation Y uses social media to socialise, to feel a sense of community plus form and maintain their social capital. Therefore, the social capital of a person thus its identity can be either boosted or decreased by interacting on SNS. This depends on the information they and others share and what feedback they get. Therefore, their social capital but also their self-esteem and mental health are changed by interacting on SNS.16 Intense and frequent use of SNS can lead to downsides, like the mentioned decrease of a person’s social capital. Furthermore, there is the risk of becoming addicted to social media e.g. becoming a “Facebook addict”17 or having an “Internet addiction” compulsively checking SNS. Moreover, social media usage can lead to a decrease in offline interaction and activities, engaging in more risky behaviour in particular making financial decisions compared to non-social media users.18 Contributing too much personal information can increase the reputational vulnerability and can blur the line between private and public information.19 Millennials expect firms and potential employers not to judge them on the base of their online identities. Violating or misusing this information can lead to self-censoring only sharing information uncritical for a millennials reputation.20 Millennials rely on their on- and offline social networks concerning information about possible future employers and authentic as well as transparent information are highly appreciated.21 Moreover, Millennials consider information gathered from their social networks as more reliable.22 Work life is an extension of Generation Y’s social life, therefore it is important for employers to accept the expectation of Generation Y to socialise on SNS to satisfy their need of acceptance and expression.23

3.2 Influence of Social Media on Recruiting

Social media have a strong influence on Generation Y but also recruiting has changed due to their influence. Typically, recruiting is described as the process of attracting individuals to work for an organisation e.g. an enterprise.24 Social media have become an extension of recruiting as a part of e-recruiting. Recruiters are able to use Web 2.0 applications to attract and contact potential employees in the process of active sourcing.25


1 Cp. Ruthus, J. (2014). Arbeitgeberattraktivität aus Sicht der Generation Y. Munich: Springer Gabler, pp. 8 - 9.

2 Cp. Holste, J. H. (2012). Arbeitgeberattraktivität im demographischen Wandel. Kirchlinteln: Springer Gabler, pp. 20 - 21.

3 Cp. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Personalführung (DGFP) e.V. (2011). Zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit: Gernation Y finden, fördern und binden. Düsseldorf: DGFP e.V., pp. 12 - 13.

4 Ibid., pp. 14 - 18.

5 Cp. Kaplan, A. and Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, Vol 53, 59 - 68, p. 61.

6 Cp. Obar, J.A. and Wildman, S. (2015). Social media definition and the governance challenge: an introduction to the special issue. Telecommunications policy, Volume 39, Issue 9, 745 - 750, p. 745.

7 Cp. Kaplan, A. and Haenlein, M. (2010), p. 61.

8 Cp. Rai, S. (2012). Engaging young employees (Gen Y) in a social media dominated world - Review and Retrospection. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 37, 257 - 266, p. 260.

9 Cp. Kaplan, A. & Haenlein, M. (2010), p. 64.

10 Cp. Boyd, D.M. and Ellison, N.B. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Volume 13, Issue 1, Oktober, 210 - 230, p. 211.

11 Cp. Windisch, E. and N. Medman. (2008). Understanding the digital natives. Ericsson Business Review. Issue 1, 2008, 36 - 39, p. 36.

12 Cp. Bolton, R. N. et al. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, Volume 24, Issue 3, 245 - 267, p. 249.

13 Ibid., pp. 249 - 253.

14 Cp. Rai, S. (2012), p. 261.

15 Cp. Bolton, R. N. et al. (2013), p. 252.

16 Ibid., p. 253.

17 Cp. Rai, S. (2012), p. 260.

18 Cp. Bolton, R. N. et al. (2013), p. 254.

19 Cp. Abril, P. S. et al. (2012). Blurred Boundaries: social media privacy and the twenty-first century employee. American Business Law Journal, Volume 49, Issue 1, 63 - 124, pp. 64 - 66.

20 Cp. Bolton, R. N. et al. (2013), p. 256.

21 Cp. Holste, J. H. (2012), p. 68.

22 Cp. Rai, S. (2012), p. 261.

23 Ibid., p 263.

24 Cp. Holm, A. B. (2012). E-recruitment: Towards an Ubiquitous Recruitment Process and Candidate Relationship Management. Zeitschrift für Personalforschung: German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management, Volume 26, Issue 3, 241 - 259, p. 245.

25 Cp. Mladenow, A. and Strauss C. (2015). Active Sourcing, Matching und Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation beim eRecruiting. In: D. W. Cunningham et. al., ed. INFORMATIK 2015 - Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI). Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik, Volume P-246, 483 - 494, p. 486.

Excerpt out of 14 pages


Influence of Social Media on Generation Y and Recruiting
The FOM University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Influence of Social Media on Generation Y and Recruiting, Recruiting, Generation Y, Social Media, Human Resource Management, Master of Business Administration, MBA, FOM, FOM Assignment, Hausarbeit, Assignment, Seminararbeit, FOM Hausarbeit, FOM MBA, FOM Hamburg, Millennials, work-life-balance, Gen Y, Digital Natives, Web 2.0, Youtube, Flickr, Facebook, Linkedin, Xing, social network, Soziales Netzwerk, Antecedents, Internet addiction, e-recruiting, employment value proposition, Kununu, Glassdoor, future employees, Cross-generational, demographischer Wandel, Generationenwechsel, demographische Lücke, generational gap, HR, Personal, Personalmanagement, sourcing, employer branding
Quote paper
Florian Beyer (Author), 2016, Influence of Social Media on Generation Y and Recruiting, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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