Gen Y recruitment: Understanding graduate intentions to join an organisation using the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Warmerdam, Amanda, Lewis, Ioni, & Banks, Tamara (2015) Gen Y recruitment: Understanding graduate intentions to join an organisation using the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Education + Training, 57(5), pp. 560-574.

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Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework, this study explored whether the standard TPB constructs explained variance in Gen Y individuals’ intentions to join their ideal organisation.


A mixed methods approach was used featuring qualitative and quantitative methods.


The overall TPB model accounted for a significant 51.6% of the variance in intention to join one’s ideal organisation in the next six months with the significant predictors in the model being subjective norm and perceived behaviour control but not attitude.

Research limitations/implications

Using graduating students from a single Australian university sample may mean that the current findings may not extend to all Gen Y individuals. The current study has demonstrated the explanatory utility of the TPB in relation to graduate Gen Y’s intention to join their ideal organisation, providing further evidence of the robustness of the TPB framework in an organisational setting.

Practical implications

These findings have implications for enhancing understanding of the most effective recruitment processes for Gen Y students entering the workforce. The findings could inform recruitment policies and strategies to attract Gen Y applicants.


To our knowledge this study is the first application of the TPB to this topic. The current research extends the recruitment literature with a theoretically-based investigation. Identification of factors which inform organisational recruitment strategies, allow organisations to stand out from their competitors and potentially achieve a larger application pool from which to select the best human capital and sustain competitive advantage.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 80121
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Generation Y, Gen Y, Graduate Recruitment, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Intention
DOI: 10.1108/ET-12-2013-0133
ISSN: 0040-0912
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2015 01:15
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2015 05:31

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