Competition between the country’s top employers to attract the country’s top graduate talent is ever increasing. The “milkround” went out of fashion with Pacman and Britpop, and companies are seeking new methods to snap up the best people. Social media is now an unavoidable fact of life, and is an essential tool in the battle for talent acquisition.
It is tempting to utilise these platforms as an endless stream of “push” marketing, forever tweeting, facebooking and instagramming messages about how good your company is and hopefully students will get the message and apply. The trouble is, social media doesn’t work like this. Social media is a COMMUNICATION platform, and like any terrible conversation, if one person is boring or talks too much, the other person will inevitably stop listening. Social media is a two way process. You have to interest the other person by having interesting and useful things to say, and you also have to listen to and involve them in a conversation. We have selected 5 platforms below and outline how you can use them effectively as part of your talent acquisition programme.
1) Twitter – The King of Conversation
The temptation with Twitter is to push messages out about how great your company is to your thousands of followers. Whilst an element of this should indeed occur, Twitter is far more nuanced and proactive. There are two main ways you should be using Twitter: –
1) Pushing out links to great content that will help your audience
2) Locating relevant conversations and participating in them
The first relates to the content you are producing as an organisation. If you truly want to engage young people and be seen as a great company to work for, you have to provide them with help. This isn’t just help and information about your company and your recruitment process, it is general help that they can utilise in their career hunt. Produce a video on general interview techniques, write a blog on how to write a great CV, talk in general about a career in the area in which you work, interview current employees for YouTube. The possibilities are endless.
You should then direct students and graduates back to your great content by posting the links on Twitter.
Secondly, Twitter is an acceptable place to conversation stalk and drop in unannounced. This is great for brands to engage one by one with potential interested parties. Twitter search is a powerful tool to search what people are talking about on Twitter. You can find any conversation and then add value to the tweeter by a well positioned and thought provoking comment.
Search “applying for grad schemes”. Chances are there will be tweets like “I’m just applying for graduate schemes. It’s hard!”, or, “Can’t believe I am already applying for graduate schemes”. There will be plenty of such conversations. A favourite of ours is “Studentproblems”, which is a hashtag students used when they are facing existential crises such as a lack of beer money or a looming deadline.
Your job is then to add something insightful to that conversation. “If you need any help with ours, please let us know” or “We have written an article on how to best get through them here http://blog.kloodle.com/2014/11/automated-application-systems-get/”. Jumping into the conversation will allow students to see that you care. There is nothing more surprising than receiving a proactive tweet out of the blue from an organisation. That is how REAL twitter users do it, and it is something your brand should adopt as best practice. Give all employees the power to do this, and trust the ethos and work environment of your company will shine through.
2 Kloodle – The skills you need
As a new platform, Kloodle offers the potential for you as a company to get a market leading presence that will identify your company as a thought leader and pioneer. Kloodle is a social network that allows students and graduates to showcase their skills and employability through a professional online profile. The platform then allows companies to create an employer profile, and engage student users with their employer brand on a regular and consistent basis through great content, conversation and interaction.
Kloodle uses the information in a student’s profile to direct your content and opportunities to the most relevant people. Your message will reach the people who are seeking the positions you offer, who possess the skills you require, and the academic credentials you need. The platform pushes your opportunities directly to the newsfeed of the most relevant college and university students and recent graduates.
As the audience on this platform increases, you should look to actively participate on the platform as part of your day to day social media strategy. Whilst the audience grows, the team has implemented a strategy that enables Kloodle to fit in with your current social media strategy. Here is how to use the platform: –
1) Set up a company profile by contacting the Kloodle team
2) Post your opportunities onto this profile.
3) Update your Twitter regularly with great content.
Your early-stage Kloodle profile will update itself through your Twitter interactions, regularly providing content for the students on Kloodle to interact with. As the student audience increases, you will be able to activate a full account. This will allow you to participate in conversations with students, push your employer brand into the newsfeed of relevant students, and to view the information rich Kloodle profiles of great students and graduates who will furnish your talent pipelines for years to come.
3 Pinterest – Your under-utilised stealth weapon
Pinterest is an aspirational social network. For the uninitiated, on Pinterest, you create boards which act like lists of the places you want to go, the clothes you want to buy, the house decorations you want etc etc. As a company aiming to recruit graduates, you should create a whole host of these “aspirational” boards. Best destinations for a gap year, best books to read, best cities to live in, photos of what it is like to work for your company, great things your company is doing.
Again, you are able to search through the boards of others and add comment. Give the whole of your team the power to do this on the company Pinterest account. They should be searching for relevant boards (best case: boards by students) and commenting upon them, adding something insightful and interesting to the conversation. People will respond, probably out of surprise. Pinterest is a relatively untapped resource, and comments are relatively rare. This means that you are likely to get heard, as the signal to noise ratio is much lower.
4 Facebook – Still worth the effort
Facebook has gone through radical changes recently, as your posts are now limited to 5% of your audience at any one time. The only way to increase this amount is to pay. I suppose that you have to pay to access the audience of every other marketing channel, so Facebook should be no different. The trouble is, this seems to fly in the face of the ethos of social media. You are going to the trouble of creating content for Facebook, which is valuable data in itself, as your content adds value to the users on Facebook. But, such is life, so you have to use it as thus.
Your Facebook page will still be a valuable landing spot for any interested party, and so should be full with interesting content that students can interact with. The content that does particularly well on Facebook is videos and images. Your profile should be brimming with these. One tip – upload your video direct to Facebook, as opposed to posting a link to YouTube – it works so much more effectively.
Once you have content on the site, listen carefully. Listen to other channels and Facebook simultaneously. If you see a post or tweet gaining more interaction than anything else on your social media platforms, double down on it and put some money behind it on Facebook. Chances are, this post is of interest to students and graduates, and you should get it pushed to a wider audience. See your 5% Facebook reach as a trial. If the response is great, then put your money where your mouth is. If it isn’t, save it for another post.
5 YouTube – The student procrastination safe haven.
When students have time on their hands, they head for YouTube. You should aim to be here too with interesting videos that will help students and entertain them. Your company channel should be brimming with content that students can engage with. Your video content strategy should be two fold: –
1) Videos of what it is like to work for your organisation
2) General videos to help students with their careers, employability and studies.
For the first point, you should do general videos about each department in your organisation. You should conduct interviews with recent student and graduate employees. You should interview the CEO and other leaders asking how their careers developed and how they got into that role. You should also produce a general company overview, alluding to the ethos and working culture of your organisation.
In some respects, the general videos are more important. Being helpful to students and graduates will stand you in great stead. Produce videos on how to be great in an interview, how to produce a perfect cover letter, how to avoid the traps on an automated online application form, how to pass psychometric testing. If your company is a specialist organisation such as an engineers, chemists or something else technical, produce training videos. Produce a “best tips” video on CAD, produce a “how to” guide for substance analysis. Anything that will help a student or graduate in their degree will work and will mark you out as a great employer who actually cares.
Social media is a necessary evil. Your future talent interacts on a daily basis on these platforms. The key to fishing is to go where the fish are. Social media is your pond, now go and fish!