Finding the social media balance

It’s very easy to say you want to engage with jobseekers using social media. Everyone uses the likes of Facebook and Twitter these days, so why not try and communicate with candidates and try and attract them using a medium that they use a lot.

In a way – it’s a very good idea. If you and others are talking about your brand and opportunities on Facebook, then that will help attract more people. Added to that, if you get people talking about you, then that’s much more powerful than advertising to them. We all know that students recommending things to others will convert much better than anything else

At Employment4students we allow people to like and share job details with others using social media – and that works incredibly well. One of our recent adverts for a local position has been shared 20 times, with a potential reach of another 4,000 people.

We also do shout outs and post details about specific vacancies and companies on our Facebook and Twitter pages. As of today (14th August) we have just under 9,500 followers, and a reach of over 14,000 students. There are 455 people talking about us, and there are 3.7 million friends of friends.

This is a fantastic market to tap into – and we actively promote our social media efforts to clients, but there is a limit. have recently carried out a survey of 1,500 undergraduates, and the overwhelming feedback is that students were not comfortable with sharing their information and personal lives with recruiting organisations. Only 5.7% said they would be happy to “completely embraced graduate employers using social media and would actively promote themselves on the employer’s channel”.

Ultimately this shows that students (and others), still see Facebook and other social media sites as a personal tool. There is a definite line between one’s personal life and work / careers. In the past candidates could show employers as much or as little about themselves as they saw fit, and students are keen for that to continue. Opening up how you talk to your friends, photos of your nights out – these are all things that students are keen to keep private.

Ultimately, engaging with candidates using social media is still ok, and could be hugely beneficial, but candidates are keen to keep it on their terms. In America more companies may be asking for access to personal Facebook profiles, but it is something that students in the UK are not comfortable with.

For those looking to recruit – it’s about finding a balance. If you get it right then you can attract more people, and better candidates. Go too far and you will end up making people both wary and reluctant, and ultimately receive less applications.

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