Recruiting the next generation

Posted on February 28, 2012 by


Laura Duncan

This week we are pleased to feature our first guest blog of 2012 from Laura Duncan, a final year Management with Marketing Student at RGU, who discusses using social media as a tool for graduate recruitment.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had the vision of making the world a more “open” place, and he succeeded with millions of people now connected via the internet.

Facebook’s not the only site that’s caught on to the social media phenomenon; Twitter has caught on to it too. There are currently 483 million daily active users on Facebook, and Twitter in one month in 2011 recorded 460,000 new accounts being created per day in that month alone. Now we are able to search, connect and interact with people on a global basis, some of whom we have never met before.

The statistics speak for themselves. Social networking sites (SNS) have become a part of our daily lives, especially for Generation Y. Long gone are the days of traditional communication via letters and telephone, and replacing them are the terms “Facebook and tweet me”. Also, with the development of the Facebook and Twitter apps, we now have these social networking sites in the palm of our hand no matter where we are. That means constant access to what organisations are saying through social media.

This new communications media should not be ignored by companies, and some of the biggest employers have got it right with successful SNS marketing campaigns with the addition of incentives to encourage individuals to interact with them on these sites.

As a future graduate, I am subject to constant unsolicited emails about companies seeking graduates and bombarded with fliers and posters around university campus. It’s all very much the same; completely impersonal. Social media has provided companies with the opportunity to engage, interact and communicate with potential employees and stakeholders, removing the barrier of uncertainty. What better way to target individuals than through the networking sites where they are comfortable?

By companies being on Facebook, we are able to “like” and “follow” those that we are interested in. It is us choosing the companies, not the companies choosing us. If we have a question, we are able to ask them direct via a wall post or tweet, rather than having to hunt for an email address and undoubtedly not getting a response. Overall it makes potential employers a lot more reachable and friendly and we are encouraged to engage with these companies and are a lot more likely to consider them as a potential employer.

In order to attract the most talented candidates of this next generation, employers must make themselves known and have a dominant, communicative presence on social media, otherwise they will be left behind.

A little about Laura

Laura is in her final year at Robert Gordon University studying BA (Hons) Management with Marketing. She is currently conducting research for her dissertation on the marketing communications media used by employers to promote their graduate opportunities to university students. She is also the Student Brand Manager for Ernst & Young and has experience in a variety of other marketing roles.