The war for graduate talent moves online

The Papirfly Blog

The war for graduate talent moves online

Jun 29, 2016 9:30:00 AM by Phil Owers |0 Comment Add Comment

Tug-of-war.jpgYou’d think it was easy for companies to recruit from the graduate pool. After all, there are literally thousands of new grads all tossing their mortar boards skywards and looking towards their future career. Surely it’s just a matter of cherry picking the ones you want?

In fact, many employers find it difficult to entice the right kind of person into their fold, with a 2016 report from Randstad showed 72% of the business leaders believed talent scarcity was negatively impacting their business.

It suggests a situation where the top talent is in high demand and relatively short supply. How, then, do you go about attracting and recruiting the best talent into your business?

Vibrant Website

Feeding off the social media presence, the best brands continue their digital engagement by promoting positive images through their website. Witty posts or inspirational memes are one thing, but getting a graduate to click through to something meaningful on your site carries them further along the path to ultimate recruitment.

New graduates are born into a digital world, used to dynamic online presence. Company websites offering meaningful and engaging contributions and that minimise corporate staidness are likely to entice the best young minds.

Unilever, routinely one of the top graduate employers, not only show a deft touch in marketing their household brands, but similarly in promoting an image of being a modern business, in touch with the needs of the wider world and their own staff. A quick read of their latest news highlights the balance between showcasing their own business success with stories about inclusivity in the workplace or recent charity events, creating an image of a successful business with an enjoyable and conscientious working environment.

Direct Engagement

Having created an image of the company as progressive, enlightened, a ‘fun place to work’, reinforcing the message with direct examples from employees adds further appeal to the employer brand.

Employee advocacy plays a significant role in developing the image of a business in the online era. From employees sharing their own positive experiences of the company on their social pages – and an employee’s social reach may well be further than that of their employer – to guest blogs such as can be seen at Unilever’s dedicated graduate blog.

The online community likes a good review from a trusted source – see Glassdoor – so honest feedback from an employee can be a powerful message for endorsing a company’s image.

Social Media

The online war for talent invariably leads to campaigns across mainstream social medial platforms. And there are numerous examples of successful and sustained campaigns directly aimed at the graduate community.

It’s targeting a millennial audience in ways which that particular demographic are used to; creating an appealing image or identity rather than a specifically direct recruitment call.

From Facebook feeds laden with memes quoting Richard Branson to the Paddypower brand’s approach to online betting; using topical sport-related humour on their feed. This is an interesting fusion of how they sell their product to highlight the attractiveness of their company as a place to forge a career. See how their online persona feeds into the perceived fun environment of their workplace when their graduate work schemes are listed.


Companies are always looking for the talent of tomorrow, always keen to encourage the best of the best into the fold.

By creating a brand identity through social media and online engagement that paints a positive, value-added work experience with realistic, achievable progression paths, a business can take great strides to becoming an employer graduates are chomping at the bit to join.

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