• Can Social Media be used in Graduate Recruitment?

    Social networking is becoming an increasingly popular business tool for companies to connect with their customers and clients. But is it an effective way to understand and communicate with them?

    Social media has been identified as an effective way to connect with specific audiences, especially Generation Y, who have grown up with the web and regularly use social media and blogging as a method of communication.

    This would suggest that using social media to enhance your presence when recruiting graduates is a positive step, which it can be if done in the right way. Feedback from graduates, however, has signalled that many actually have concerns about their social networking persona being viewed by potential employers, meaning that they may attempt to limit their interaction to prevent negative effects.

    Last week we reported that the 'Social Media Audit' conducted by recruitment and marketing communications provider Penna Barkers and the Association of Graduate Recruiters, found that one in seven companies believe that it is "dangerous" to target potential recruits through sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

    Therefore, would a middle ground be useful where GenY can build a social profile specifically for their job-hunting activities, in order to create the professional image that they want to portray, rather than the more ‘social’ image portrayed on their existing accounts?

    Have your say -

    • Do you have a personal social networking page?
    • Do you search for new recruits on social networking sites?
    • Do you think a middle ground is needed?
    • Would you be happy for your colleagues and potential recruits to view your social networking page?
    • Does your company have a social networking page?
    • Do you think it is used effectively?

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  • A Gap Year can be more than a stop-gap!

    Last week we reported that according to the managing director of i-to-i, the leading TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course provider, between March and May there was a 22% increase in the number of students looking to work abroad.

    Working abroad and doing something different can be of hugely beneficial to your future job prospects.  Showing that you can be independent, are prepared to take risks, or just that you have experienced another culture can be valuable to an employer.

    Time away, working abroad or travelling can encourage personal growth and the development of independence, alongside building up important soft skills such as leadership and even survival skills. Don't underestimate the benefit of broadening your horizons, having new experiences and surviving in another country. These experiences can be great preparation for the start of your career.

    Have your say – how do you view gap years? 

    You can also find more information about gap years, what's available and how to fund volunteering opportunities in our Gap year, volunteering and charities sector.

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  • Sensible alternatives!

    Only 36% of final-year students expect to find a job this summer, according to a survey by High Flyers Research. What do the other 64% of the surveyed students plan to do post-graduation?

    Students and graduates are increasingly considering alternative options in the post-recession jobs market and it is quite easy to understand why. Even talk of the high competition for jobs is enough to discourage some job seekers, but for those who do attempt to find work but repeatedly receive bad news in response to their job applications it can be a difficult struggle.

    A popular alternative is going abroad, either to travel, work or teach. According to the managing director of i-to-i, the leading TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course provider, between March and May there was a 22% increase in the number of students looking to work abroad.

    Taking time out to do something different can be of huge benefit to a graduate who is in the process of looking for a career and a graduate who has been abroad and experienced another culture can be of value to an employer.

    Time away, working abroad or travelling can encourage personal growth and the development of independence, alongside building up important soft skills such as leadership and even survival skills. Horizons can be broadened, perspectives tuned and career ambitions refined, preparing an individual for the start of a career.

    Have your say – Will you be considering 2010 graduates for your 2011 intake if they have used their year to travel, work or teach abroad?

    Is this a better option than staying on at university to do a postgraduate qualification?

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  • How does Open University compare?

    The Open University has seen a sharp rise of 34% in the number of young people (18-24 year olds) taking its distance learning courses.

    70% of Open University (OU) students study part-time, providing them with the chance to work while completing their degree. Distance learning also takes away the necessity to leave home, considerably reducing the costs of living as a student.

    The reduced costs associated with distance learning, alongside the opportunity to earn money whilst studying part-time must surely be attractive and could explain these figures, but it is also important to consider the advantages that traditional universities have to offer.

    University, for many, is an opportunity to move out of a protected environment and to progress along the pathway of personal growth, developing a sense of independence and a social awareness of the world outside of structured school education. But for some, the financial benefits of OU could outweigh the personal and social benefits of traditional university.

    Have your say: What are your experiences of graduates from Open University in comparison to those who have physically attended lectures?

    Is it easier to get a job if you have worked since school alongside your studies?

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  • What do today’s graduates want from their jobs?

    Many employers assume that salary is the first thing that most graduates consider when searching for a job. But following a recent survey commissioned by Orange, it is safe to say that, certainly among the 1000 university leavers questioned, this is not actually the case.

    The top five areas that students said were important to them in their first job were:

    • Learning experiences - 69%
    • Happiness - 58%
    • Flexible working - 53%
    • Good salary - 51%
    • Great colleagues - 43%

    Another popular demand was ‘access to technology’ including being able to work remotely, showing that expectations are becoming more varied and more demanding. However, is this focus away from salary just a sign of the times? Were the graduates in the survey saying what they thought employers wanted to hear or has work/life balance become more important to debt stricken graduates than money, even before they start their working life?

    We are really interested to hear what you think - tell us what’s important to you - add your comments here!

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  • How straight-forward is it to accommodate and manage the expectations of new-starters?

    any employers assume that salary is the first thing that most graduates consider when searching for a job. But followinga recent survey commissioned by Orange, it is safe to say that, certainly among the 1000 university leavers questioned, this is not actually the case.

    A good salary is one of the top 5 things that graduates look for in their first job but above that were ‘learning experiences’, ‘happiness’ and ‘flexible working’ and falling in 5th place in the results of the research was ‘great colleagues’.

    It is useful to understand the drivers and expectations of today’s graduates, firstly in order to market to them effectively. Although there are now huge numbers of graduate job-hunters in the market place, attracting and selecting the right ones for your business is hugely important and can still be challenging.

    The statistics that have emerged from this research should reassure those businesses that are unable to advertise high salaries in order to compete for the top graduates that there are other benefits that they can publicise in order to appeal to graduates.

    Have your say –

    How straight-forward is it to accommodate and manage the expectations of new-starters?  Is this something you do at interview or offer stage - or even earlier?

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    Comments (1)

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