Editor’s note: The following post was submitted as part of our recruitment process for our new Graduate Marketing Assistant. With freedom over subject, style and length, it was up to our candidates to present their thoughts in a way that embodied the PPS blog whilst giving us an insight into their marketing genius. This by no means is the deciding factor, but if you like what you read, comment and share – you would be helping a great candidate out! So without further ado, here’s Candidate #2′s offering:
Social media is becoming more and more a part of modern life. People are logging in to sites such Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. In fact, within the 18-25 age range, it would seem unusual now for people not to have a social media presence. It is no surprise therefore that recruiters are using these market changes to their advantage, or at least dipping their toes in the water to see what potential these platforms may offer. This new movement has even got its own label – ‘social recruiting’.
New graduates are one of the key targets for this type of recruitment. Recruiters go to where the potential talent is, and currently there is no bigger potential talent pool of graduates than on Facebook. With around 850 million users, it would seem silly to ignore it. A recent survey by milkround.com showed that 84% of students make Facebook their first port of call every morning.
So the question for recruiters is; how can Facebook be used in the most effective way? Some large companies have set up special pages just for people interested in, or entering their graduate application process. A former colleague of mine and recent graduate from the University of Durham, Emma Hawkins, recently ‘liked’ Barclays Graduates’ Facebook page: ‘I had reached the assessment centre stage and read in a forum that I may pick up some useful information by speaking to current graduates on the FB page’ says Emma, ‘I have found the majority of marketing I have encountered as regard graduate schemes has not been through social media though, but via events such as recruitment fairs’. She also noted how some companies, such as PWC, seem to have invested a lot of money in these types of events: ‘I went to a meal fully paid for by the company, having not even applied at that point!’
Emma also believes social media was not the most useful method of finding out about graduate jobs initially. She says, ‘I found it more useful as a resource once the application process had begun. It was a good way of researching into the companies and the schemes further. I still see Facebook as a social tool, not yet something that is used for professional matters or job hunting’. There is a good chance Emma’s experience has been echoed by thousands of graduates across the UK.
Facebook has its limitations. It does not allow users to tailor what job alerts they receive in the same way as, say, email alerts from a recruiter. Users can specify that they want to receive information about ‘Sales jobs in Hull’, and only those relevant will appear in their inbox. Facebook cannot be manipulated in the same way at this point, leading to potential problems. It seems that recruiters may have realised this and are using Facebook in alternative ways. Some are using it to post tips on the likes of writing a CV or how to prepare for an interview. This is the sort of information a job seeker would be interested in and it helps build a relationship between the recruiter and the potential applicant. One well known job website used the idea ’12 days of how to get a graduate job’ on their Facebook page on the lead up to Christmas.
Twitter offers up a whole new set of challenges. Posts from recruiters can be lost in a busy twitterfeed, yet users would generally be more accepting towards multiple posts of the same job and posts of less specific interest. Twitter also offers up new opportunities to be creative. By aiming tweets ‘@’ specific people/organisations, job hunters can get themselves directly in front of their desired audience. A friend of mine recently secured himself an internship at BAFTA by creating a video of himself showcasing his video editing skills and tweeting it directly to the HR team at BAFTA. The video CV seems to be a growing trend, as discussed in a PPS Blog post from August 2011.
LinkedIn is perhaps better known for being used by both recruiters and job hunters. However it is currently better populated by slightly older demographics and is still to truly take off in the graduate community.
The ‘return on investment’ question is still unclear on using social media at this early stage, but evidence certainly seems to suggest that Social Media is offering new and interesting channels that will continue to be more and more a part of recruiters’ plans as we move into the future – both for graduates and the wider job seeking community.
What do you think? Should social media be a recruiting priority, does it depend on the platform, or is it down to how it is being used? Let us know your thoughts.