When it comes to industries that appeal to graduates, it’s fair to say that the digital industry is pretty high up in the pecking order – and it’s not hard to see why.
Last quarter, we recorded our highest ever number of graduate sign-ups to our digital jobs board since our launch back in 2011. This just goes to show that there is huge demand for digital roles by graduates, and this article will show why this is and what other industries can do to improve their graduate recruitment strategy.
One of the main reasons young people – especially graduates – want to get a job in the digital industry is that they have grown up surrounded by a digital world and technology. From social media to smart phones, blogs to apps, it’s no surprise that they want to be part of the ever-growing digital revolution.
And what a revolution it is – a recent report from O2 stated that around 745,000 additional workers with digital skills are needed to meet demand between now and 2017 – a huge number by anyone’s book.
But it’s not just the cool gadgets, tweets and mobile applications that make this sector so appealing to graduates – it’s the way the industry speaks to their generation, and how they make their jobs a desirable career choice for them.
Companies that hire digital staff, especially the more digital-savvy ones, tend to use the sort of channels to promote their jobs that make them instantly visible to graduates and people of the “digital” generation – namely social media.
By posting their roles on the likes of Twitter and making the most out of hashtags based around locations, job categories etc, it broadens the reach of the job advertisements and targets an active Twitter audience – the type of audience that is full of job-seeking graduates looking for their first step on the career ladder.
But it’s not just Twitter that digital companies use to promote their roles. Being creative and making visual job advertisements on the likes of Instagram, Vine and even Snapchat give the companies a competitive edge and appeal to their target audiences – speaking to them on their own level.
The most important point to take from this is to know where your potential candidates socialise or “hang out” online and seek them out, rather than waiting for them to find you.
Outside of straight forward job advertisements, it’s also important to build an employer brand – something digital companies tend to do very well. This includes using a broad selection of social media platforms to promote the company’s office culture and work ethos to encourage potential candidates to identify with the brand and give themselves the opportunity to visualise working for that business.
Also, encouraging existing employees to act as brand ambassadors for the business – posting social media updates about life in the office and basically presenting the company as a fantastic place to work – is an effective recruitment strategy and one that makes your employees feel like they’re involved in all aspects of the business which is an added bonus.
Another way of getting your employees involved in the recruitment strategy is to shine a light on them from time to time. Consider implementing a regular feature profiling different members of your work force. This gives your company a face and gives those all-important graduates someone to identify with which may make them more likely to apply for your roles.
In terms of the actual job advertisements themselves, it’s important to keep them simple and straightforward when attracting graduates – something digital companies do well most of the time.
Take a look at some digital job advertisements and you’ll see they’re less filled with technical vocabulary and the usual job advert jargon, and instead they reflect the company’s identity and speak to graduates on their own level – not isolating them with lots of business talk which means nothing.
All in all, you want to put your business and your job adverts in front of graduates – so go and find them, don’t make them try and find you. Remember: this is probably the first time they’ve ever applied for a full-time career position in an industry they actually want to work in – so speak to them at their own level and on their own platforms. If you embrace graduates rather than isolating them, your chances of success will soar.