The Impact of Social Media on the Job Industry

Social media usage is becoming a norm not only in our lives but in organization setups as well. Majority of both large, medium and small organizations rely on social media in one way or another. The usage of the benefits of social media to organizations is infinite. However, the present paper will explore the impact social media on organizations’ hiring processes, knowledge transfer and job satisfaction, and workforce productivity. The essay will begin with the background of the current social media trends in the workplace environment before diving into the three main variables: hiring process, knowledge transfer and job satisfaction and workforce productivity.


This study is designed to examine the direct impact of social media in the job industry. The research specifically seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What is the influence of social media on organizations’ hiring process?
  • How does media social impact on knowledge transfer and job satisfaction?
  • What is the impact of social media on workforce productivity?



Social media has become a norm not only in the United States but across the world. Today, about 7 in every 10 Americans use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to connect with others, share information and news or for entertainment. For the majority of people, social media is part of everyday life: Approximately 75% of Facebook users visit the sites at least once a day (Kurt and Wells 2). The same trend has encroached the workplace environments, and both individuals and organizations must transform to match the influence of social media in the job industry.

Study shows that on average, each of the Fortune 500 corporations had embraced more than one social media platform as at 2010, and at least 50% of large firms managed to install in place a Facebook-like social media platforms (Haddud, Dugger, and Gill 1). Because of the rapid growth of internal social media acceptance by many companies, efforts have been made to unravel the potential impacts that of this increasingly important tool to organizations. The application of social media has increased across companies as managers and executives try to leverage the power of knowledge and information technologies that exist within their firms for an extensive range of business purposes. Researchers predict that the increasing use of social media will transform enterprise-wide processes, including, data sharing, workforce engagement and communication and to an extent impact on employee productivity and job satisfaction (Haddud, Dugger, and Gill 2). It is evident that social media is achieving much importance in organizations today, just like email and telephone have been in the past decades. Social media permeates and impacts on many aspects of daily lives, and the workplace environment is no exception.

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Figure 1: Percentage of Workers Who Use Social Media Platforms at Work for Various Reasons 

Source: Lampe, and Ellison, Pew Research Center

Today employees incorporate social media for varieties of reasons while at work. Some of the activities are job-related, while others are for personal reasons. From the review by the Pew Research Center in figure 1:

  • 34% of the workers use social media in the workplace for mental relaxation from their work
  • 27% to connect to friends,
  • 24% to support professional connections,
  • 20% to acquire information for problem-solving,
  • 17% improve the relationship with colleagues,
  • 17% learn about a colleague,
  • 12% inquire about a job-related issue from outside the company,
  • 12% ask about a problem from inside the company (Lampe, and Ellison 1).



The increasing popularity of social media provides hiring firms with vast data and gaffes concerning potential hires. A recent CareerBuilder research established that at least two in every five companies are using social media networking platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace to screen the professional levels of potential candidates or to check the applicants working style (Sharone 11).

Screening Professionalism Potential Candidates

Most companies check the social media platforms to establish whether the candidate is professional to fit in the organization culture (Krouse 1). Social media screening has resulted in a whole range of deal breakers according to career experts. In the past grammar and spelling errors on the resume were enough to disqualify a candidate (Sharone 14). However, today companies are most likely to forgive such typo errors, than actions such as censuring an employer on Twitter or Facebook (Krouse, 2). Bad-mouthing former employers, racist posts, fall language, and negative remarks on social media are some of the potential pitfalls that can deny you a job.

Assessing The Applicant’s Work Style

Besides the professional ethics, companies are also making use of social media to assess more subtle clues concerning the applicants working style, including a team player and collaborative creators, among other working types. According to the report by the Wall Street Journal, companies are keen on teamwork, and social networking plats provide an avenue for firms to gauge such attributes. Pete Maulik, currently the “Managing Partner and Chief Growth Officer at Fahrenheit 212” once admitted that at one point he was close to hiring an “excellent” job applicant but disqualified the candidate once he checked his LinkedIn profile as a last measure (Feintzeig and Fuhrmans 1).

However, it is not only companies that can benefit from such subtle clues screening. Applicants can also check through the organization’s social media platforms to understand the values that the company treasures most. Alexander, Mader and Mader in their study argued that social networking sites were not only being used by recruiters to screen job applicants, but the applicants also used the platforms to scrutinize potential employers. The authors, therefore, suggested that firms may need to revamp their social networking sites to attack top-notch job seekers (Alexander, Mader and Mader 79). It is also paramount for staffs working with students and the graduates themselves to understand the practices and development of social networking platforms for recruiting to be better positioned for any job opportunity.



Social media use in the organization has many benefits for the workforce work behaviours, attitude and performance through improvement of social capital and network ties, knowledge sharing and ultimate, job satisfaction.

Social Media and Organization Social Capital and Network Ties

Research shows that the amount of time workers spent interacting with their colleagues on social networking platforms such as Facebook has a positive impact on job satisfaction and lowers the symptoms of work burnouts. Social capital may translate to benefits such as a broader source of knowledge and enhanced knowledge quality. Federica and Feeney in a study defined social capital as the communication of knowledge among employees. Organizational network ties created through social media influences interaction and exchange of knowledge, consequently boosting employees’ confidence and satisfaction (Federica and Feeney 406). The study also shows that workers who built massive network ties are more likely to participate in information contribution and exchange actions (Ellison, Gibbs and Weber 107). The intimate and personal relations developed among employees will translate into a workforce that is inclined to sharing of ideas and resources, motivating each other to achieve the company goals.

Social Media and Organization Knowledge Sharing

Network ties enhance inter-employ social communications and decrease the time and effort necessary to access information sources, thus translating to greater frequency, intensity and extensiveness of knowledge sharing. According to Ellison, Gibbs and Weber’s social media has stretched to the communication world, providing opportunities for companies to interact freely with the employees. The use of social media enable the workers to communicate or broadcast messages to everyone across the firm, and to view and respond to communications, connections, messages and texts posted or edited any colleagues at any given point (Ellison, Gibbs and  Weber 108). Besides, social media, unlike the traditional platforms, allow members to communicate anywhere anytime, thus boosting the internal relationships in the organization, which a key determinant for job satisfaction. Communication, as mentioned earlier, facilitates knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing enables and advance job-related tacit knowledge among the organization’s workforce (Ellison, Gibbs and Weber 113). In particular, knowledge-sharing might refer to the employee’s experience, insights and competencies related to daily routines and interpersonal, problem-solving and decision making.

Social Capital, Knowledge Sharing and Job Satisfaction

As such, knowledge interflow in the workplace facilitates teamwork and advancement of individual competencies through continuous learning. This, in turn, boosts the employee’s confidence and consequently job satisfaction. Empirical studies reveal that an organization characterized by empowerment and openness enhances the integration of individual skills into organizational knowledge through continuous learning and knowledge development and sharing. Federica and Feeney are on the view that social interactions, collaborative problem solving and knowledge sharing promote human competencies related to job task. Employees feel motivated to perform, especially when they understand what they are doing (Federica and Feeney 400). Social media platforms such as WhatsApp groups, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter facilitate knowledge sharing.


There is extensive research on the influence of social media on the productivity of workers. Most studies maintain that there is a positive link between social media usage and employee productivity than there is a negative correlation.

Positive Impact of Social Media on Employee Productivity

Study shows that most employees use social media extensively at the workplace for creating business networks, including enhancing collaboration, boding relationship, connecting globally and with experts, establishing communication channels among clients, workers, and partners and increasing business contacts (Fusi and Feeney 395). Social networks are also used to generate new knowledge, improve organization marketing, and hiring processes, which are all productive activities expected of an employee (Fusi and Feeney 399). Social media is also beneficial in the workplace as a tool for developing innovation and social capital in the company. The hedonic and utilitarian values are some of the factors encouraging employees to engage in social media continuously (Fusi and Feeney 401); therefore, impacting positively on employee performance.

Negative Impact of Social Media on Employee Productivity

However, besides the maximum benefits of social media to the firm, some challenges come with it, creating both ethical and legal threats to the company. The engagement of employees on social media platforms can generate unethical and illegal conducts such as discrimination and privacy invasion. Some workers may display unethical behaviors such as surfing on pornographic sites, engage in cybercrimes and privacy violations leading to loss of the organization data, which ultimately can disrupt their overall performance and productivity. The study also shows that consistent engagement on social media for personal gains during researching time can negatively affect efficiency and to an extent, the well-being of the worker (Vithayathil, Dadgar, & Osiri 51).

High level of psychological effects because of too much social media usage and surfing illicit sites such as pornographic websites can affect performance. Additionally, research reveals that employees are more likely to experience severe health dangers where they become addicted to the online world. A study byVithayathil, Dadgar and Osiri established that over 50% of employers are heavy users of social media during researching or working hours. The interpretation is that these heavy social network users use most of the researching or working hours engaged in activities that are non-productive to the organization (Vithayathil, Dadgar and Osiri 67). Therefore, social media usage has both positive and negative influence on the productivity of the organization.

Summary and Conclusion

Social media is achieving much importance in organizations today, just like email and telephone have been in the past decades. The usage and impact of social media on organization cut across the hiring processes, knowledge transfer and job satisfaction, and employee productivity. The increasing popularity of social media, for instance, has given hiring firms a gold mine data and gaffes concerning potential hires. Social media also facilitates knowledge sharing, which consequently translate to job satisfaction. Workers who spend interacting with their colleagues on social networking platforms such as Facebook report a positive impact on job satisfaction. The knowledge sharing among employees also boost competency and confidence, resulting in increased productivity. However, over-utilization of social media in the workplace for personal activities translate to low productivity.

Works Cited

Alexander, Elizabeth C., Deanna RD Mader, and Fred H. Mader. “Using social media during the hiring process: A comparison between recruiters and job seekers.” Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 29.1 (2019): 78-87.

Ellison, Nicole B., Jennifer L. Gibbs, and Matthew S. Weber. “The use of enterprise social network sites for knowledge sharing in distributed organizations: The role of organizational affordances.” American Behavioral Scientist 59.1 (2015): 103-123.

Feintzeig, R, and Fuhrmans, V. Past Social-Media Posts Upend Hiring. The Wall Street Journal (2018).

Fusi, Federica, and Mary K. Feeney. “Social media in the workplace: Information exchange, productivity, or waste?” The American Review of Public Administration 48.5 (2018): 395-412.

Haddud, Abubaker, John C. Dugger, and Preet Gill. “Exploring the impact of internal social media usage on employee engagement.” Journal of Social Media for Organizations 3.1 (2016): 1-23.

Krouse, Sarah. “The New Ways Your Boss Is Spying on You.” The Wall Street Journal (2019).

Kurt and Wells. Facebook’s Timeline: 15 Years In-WSJ. The Wall Street Journal (2019).

Lampe, C and Ellison, N. Social Media and the Workplace. Pew Research Center (2016).

Sharone, Ofer. “LinkedIn or LinkedOut? How social networking sites are reshaping the labor market.” Emerging Conceptions of Work, Management and the Labor Market. Emerald Publishing Limited, 2017.

Vithayathil, Joseph, Majid Dadgar, and J. Kalu Osiri. “Does social media use at work lower productivity?” International Journal of Information Technology and Management 19.1 (2020): 47-67.


Alexander, E. C., Mader, D. R., & Mader, F. H. (2019). Using social media during the hiring process: A comparison between recruiters and job seekers. Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science29(1), 78-87.

Ellison, N. B., Gibbs, J. L., & Weber, M. S. (2015). The use of enterprise social network sites for knowledge sharing in distributed organizations: The role of organizational affordances. American Behavioral Scientist59(1), 103-123.

Feintzeig, R, & Fuhrmans, V. (2018). Past Social-Media Posts Upend Hiring. The Wall Street Journal.

Fusi, F., & Feeney, M. K. (2018). Social media in the workplace: Information exchange, productivity, or waste?. The American Review of Public Administration48(5), 395-412.

Haddud, A., Dugger, J. C., & Gill, P. (2016). Exploring the impact of internal social media usage on employee engagement. Journal of Social Media for Organizations3(1), 1-23.