Use your online presence to recruit the next generation of leaders

Bright and ambitious graduates are one of the best investments any business can make. As the class of 2013 prepares to graduate, it's time to ask whether your organisation is ready to attract top new talent.

by David Cohen
Last Updated: 24 May 2013

Make a good first impression…early

Many firms begin to court graduates at least nine months in advance of graduation. So to have access to the best candidates you need to make a good impression early. By the time nearly all graduates arrive at a career fair they will have researched the companies in the room and will have a short list of those they want to engage with. 

Your website is unlikely to be the only place they look

Whether it is current and former employees sharing thoughts about what it’s like to work at your firm or customers using social media to vent their frustrations and share compliments about their experiences, your company’s messages are being consumed, supplemented and amplified – or questioned aloud – across multiple online channels.

Only by having a genuine presence that is consistent across these channels and consistent with your ‘employer brand’ – what prospective employees think of your organisation – can you influence this conversation and have a reasonable chance of making a good first impression.   

But you can’t take a once size fits all approach. Each social media platform has a unique context and students will expect to be communicated with differently on each.  Knowing how students think about the various social media platforms will allow you to tailor specific messages to hit the mark with your audience.  

Use employee advocates

Your employees are the most powerful advocates you have and can massively help boost your ‘employer brand’.
Encourage your employees (especially senior executives) to be present and engaged across various online channels – at the very least they should be following your company page on social networks and ensure that their profiles are up to date. This is one of the first places graduates will look to learn about what it’s like to work for your firm.

And don’t stop once your grads are in the door.  With access to the right tools and technology they can quickly become ‘ambassadors’ for your brand and help with your next intake. Today’s grads will be the most social and tech-savvy employees in your organisation.

Make it easy and act fast

The generation leaving university today have grown up online, creating and taking great pride in their professional identities as they look to carve out their career paths. Whether at a grad fair or open day, employers need to make it as easy as possible for this group to engage with them and share this information.

In today’s transparent and information-heavy world companies need to work harder to create the right impression and convince the best talent they are the right fit for them. 

Ensuring you have a strong and consistent online presence and are using the right tools to engage with grads is no longer just a nice to have.  Without it, your firm is simply invisible to the next generation of professionals.

David Cohen, Director, Talent Solutions, EMEA, at LinkedIn

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