This longitudinal, quantitative study contributes to the debate on technology-based professional development by examining the extent to which a learning (LinkedIn) intervention in a university setting affects an individual’s social media use for professional development, and the extent to which this relates to self-reported employability. In addition, we investigated how this relationship is moderated by an individual’s motivation to communicate through social media (LinkedIn). Based on social capital theory and the conservation of resources theory, we developed a set of hypotheses that were tested based on longitudinal data collected from university employees (N = 101) in middle- and high-level jobs. First, in line with our expectations, social media use for professional development was significantly higher after the learning intervention than before. Second, partially in line with our expectations, social media use for professional development was positively related with the employability dimension anticipation and optimization. Third, contrary to our expectations, motivation to communicate through social media (LinkedIn) did not have a moderating role in this relationship. We concluded that the learning intervention has the potential to foster social media use for professional development, and in turn, can contribute to individuals’ human capital in terms of their employability. Hence, the intervention that forms the core of this empirical research can be a sustainable and promising human resource management (HRM) practice that fits the human capital agenda.
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