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Social media is key to attracting graduate marketers

Social media is key to attracting graduate marketers

Employers risk going under the radar of the best marketing graduates if they don’t adopt robust and consistent social networking strategies,  according to research by TMP Worldwide and TARGETjobs.

The study of penultimate and final year students shows eight in every 10 agree that organisations active on websites such as Facebook and Twitter are positively perceived to be working hard to engage their target market.

However, the students questioned were clear that employers should not exploit social media with 70% stating they would not want businesses using such sites to ‘sell’ jobs to them

The findings also show that employers not embracing social networking risk being overshadowed as undergraduates become increasingly social media savvy and expect businesses to do the same.

With almost 16% of students either owning or contributing to a blog and 42% rating social media as the ideal platform to communicate employer brand, businesses cannot afford to overlook its value.           

The research also shows how students actively use social media to research companies and validate whether employer brand messages live up to reality.

Almost half of students questioned use social media sites to chat with peers about recruitment processes, whilst a further 30% chat with current employees to check whether their expectations were met after being taken on.

A further 56% agree that social networking sites allow candidates to get a feel for the company's culture.

The research also serves as a warning to employers; the instant nature of social networking means negative candidate experiences especially during recruitment and onboarding can quickly be communicated between peers having a potentially damaging effect on employer brand.

“Employers have been saying for some time that they use social networking sites to ‘check up‘ on potential candidates, but they must now be aware that the tables have turned,” said Head of Planning and Research at TMP Worldwide, Neil Harrison.

“Today’s students use these sites as trusted places to not only communicate with friends but to also investigate potential employers; so businesses simply cannot underestimate the power of social media when it comes to brand building and engaging with undergraduates.”

He added, “Employers must not however, approach social media half heartedly. They must be consistent with their brand and maintain the values they promote online throughout the recruitment, selection and ongoing retention process.“

Dave Coombs, Head of Digital Media at TMP Worldwide warned that social media “is not a fad.”

“It's a fundamental shift in the way we communicate and the facts speak for themselves - 96% of Gen Y are members of a social network and Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months,” he added.

“Employers must tap into this valuable resource and realise that social media is where the candidates are.”

Improve your social media marketing skills by siggning up for the UTalkMarketing Social Media Skills Accelerator.

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