The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ways in which social media content via social contagion may affect the job behaviors of employed individuals. Specifically, by integrating the unfolding model of voluntary turnover and social comparison theory, this paper explores whether receiving an update about a peer’s career advancement on professional social networking sites (SNSs) increases an individual’s propensity to engage in job search.
In this analysis, the authors matched individuals’ survey data (n=125) with information received from a recruiting agency on employees’ subsequent job search behavior (i.e., sending a resume to the agency).
The results indicate that the relationship between career advancement updates on SNSs and job search behavior was stronger for employees with higher perceived employability and, contrary to our hypothesis, for those more embedded within the organization.
More employable and more embedded individuals perceive social cues from social media, and these cues positively relate to their job search behaviors. To address this trend, organizations could develop a social media strategy and implement retention measures to prevent the job search (and thus potential turnover) of employable and embedded individuals.
This research contributes to the job search literature by examining the role of professional SNSs in driving job search behavior among employed individuals.
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