18 December 2015 14:04:56 IST

“Catch ’em young and watch ’em grow”

Social media has really made it possible for the campus talent mine to contribute to Corporate India from campuses itself

It’s imperative for talent acquisition team to put together a meaningful social media recruitment strategy

Social media has really disrupted the world. Whoever would’ve thought that one can actually find information about the best places to stay, eat and visit with just a swipe of the finger? It’s amazing how social media has emerged as an information aggregator through collaboration of a heterogeneous group of people, who possibly have nothing in common: except the Internet.

We are at a point where “word of mouth” is literally affecting business. And when we talk about business, can the world of talent acquisition be far behind, especially since the future of business depends upon catching the young Czars and Czarinas from their education cradle beds?

Numbers don’t lie

Reports indicate that there are close to 143 million social media users in India, of which about 34 per cent consists of college-going students.

A separate report also shows that two-thirds of the users access social media through their handheld devices. Plus, it’s a known fact that students are more likely to adopt and experiment with advanced technology, when compared with any other age group; and this is equally true for social media.

Given these facts, it’s imperative for the talent acquisition team to put together a meaningful strategy to tap into this talent pool proactively, rather than wait for graduates to apply for open positions.

Social media strategy

A balanced social media strategy helps create personalised connections between students, recruiters and the company. However, if the strategy is incorrect, it can seriously dent the company’s brand value and possibly attract talent that’s looking for just about any job.

Keeping in mind the ideals that today’s youth values the most, I would recommend five simple tips to keep the campus talent engaged and interested in your company.

Humanise culture : Give a trial view of the company’s culture and DNA by creating social circuits for alumni, and connect them with targeted technology/management institutes for exchanging ideas, views and opinions or providing advice. For example, hosting twitter chats prior to a campus engagement is very helpful.

Demonstrate social responsibility and sustainability : Encourage blogging on CSR and run live-tweet campaigns showcasing the effort.

Showcase diversity : Proactively build specialised diversity focused portals for the student community and leverage employee advocacy as a means of ‘giving comfort’ to the target audience. Host twitter chats on topics related to diversity, inclusivity and skill building discussions.

Pre-screen talent : Set up private chats with potential candidates as a pre-selection tool. This not only helps in mapping the most suitable students, but also reduces hiring cost and improves speed.

Commit to skill building : Leverage entry level training modules and make them available through social learning platform for chosen colleges.

Social professional recruitment

In the coming decade, social and professional recruitment will become mainstream. A good social media recruitment strategy works on co-opting the talent we look for into the overall recruitment process, and turn them into our biggest brand ambassadors.

I can foresee recruitment morphing into more of a marketing engine and expanding its scope beyond just candidate sourcing and selection. The times are exciting. Social media has really made it possible for the campus talent mine to contribute to Corporate India from campuses itself.

It would be interesting to hear from the students themselves on how they would devise a recruitment strategy using social media… Any thoughts, folks?