#LifeAfterCollege: why social and digital media are essential to graduate recruitment success

Posted: 03/11/2016 - 04:38

It’s the first thing millennials see in the morning, the last thing they look at before going to bed, and their constant companion throughout the day. It’s their phone. The younger generation’s dependency on mobile is driven by the considerable role technology plays in our everyday lives. With the touch of a button, these young men and women can do anything from ordering a car or depositing a check to sharing photos, videos and stories with friends and the public at large.

Combine this with research, like that from marketing firm Crowdtap which found millennials average 5.4 hours a day on social media, and it becomes obvious that to engage early-career professionals, organisations need a social presence and digital media capabilities.

It’s not enough to just have a presence on social media though. Remember, as these are networking sites, college kids are primarily focused on content published by their friends and it’s unlikely they will apply for a job after seeing a single tweet or reading one lone post. Employers don’t have much time to capture their attention so the objective shouldn’t be to encourage their candidacy in a particular role, but to raise their awareness and interest in the business with consistent content that’s speaks to their interests. Taking a long-term approach to social media ensures that the organisation is top of mind when the student does decide what he or she wants to pursue after graduation.

Think about those aspects of a business that would appeal to millennials. Does your organisation offer development or rotational programs? The younger generation is looking for a fast track to promotion so initiatives that offer extra training and exposure to different facets of the business – and to top-level leaders – are an attractive selling point. Does your company award additional time off to early-career professionals who don’t yet have the tenure or negotiating power to ask for it themselves? Are flexible schedules an option? Can employees work virtually? Does your organisation offer paid hours and resources to technical employees so they may pursue their own ideas and projects? Finding ways to encourage the entrepreneurial streak in many of today’s young professionals is a competitive advantage, and one that could even drive greater innovation within the business. Assuming the picture you’ve painted fairly represents your organisation, using social media to showcase Employer Value Proposition is an effective way to attract recent and soon-to-be graduates.

Once you’ve piqued their interest or provided them with incentives to further consider employment within your organisation, facilitate them on their continued path of discovery. Make film and web-hosted presentations available. Share videos of employee testimonials. Meet them where they are – online – at virtual events. Some companies have even gone so far as to launch virtual recruitment centers. If a student decides to apply for a job, make sure they can do it from any device and consider how an app-based Applicant Tracking System would facilitate the recruitment process. Candidates need only to submit their information once and each point of contact within the organisation, from recruiter to Hiring Manager, would have easy access to their file and updates on their progress. Other companies are investing further in engagement tools that are personalised and intended to drive a positive candidate experience. Consider the impression an app that offers GPS guidance to the exact location of an interview and provides information on the interviewer would make on a candidate.

With so many employers clamouring for the attention of early-career professionals, effectively leveraging social and digital media can be a real competitive advantage. Social media can support employer branding efforts, attracting graduates to an organisation, while digital media can make candidates feel at home as they learn more about the company and, should they decide to, apply for a position. Together, they are the underpinning of any successful graduate recruitment program.


About The Author

Vivienne Dykstra's picture

Vivienne Dykstra is Futurestep's Business Development Director EMEA and global SME for the Graduate Practice. She brings extensive experience in outsourcing having established and run a recruitment process outsourcing business – Graduate Solutions Ltd – since 2005. The company focused primarily on recruitment and development of ‘Young Talent’ with many global clients including Deutsche Bank, Nomura, Linklaters LLP, Fremantle Media, Mitsubishi UFJ, BAML, Jefferies Bank and ICAP plc. Viv has also acted as a consultant to many organisations during this time, reviewing and advising on graduate and professional hiring strategies.  Recent projects include UBS and ICAP plc.