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“The beauty of being able to transmit regular, different and inspiring messages to an audience who want to listen is amazing”

Social media and recruitment, we seem to have been talking about that for a long time now, haven’t we?

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, people often tend to love or hate social media in society. It clearly has benefits in sharing information – albeit maybe too much sometimes!  Therefore it does have its pitfalls; once things go bad everyone seems to know about it, and very quickly.

So I don’t want to bore you with facts and figures about conversions, click-throughs and shares but simply wish to talk about the easy way to use social media in recruitment.

Neil Armstrong will speak at the Graduate Recruitment and Development Forum on February 26.

Facebook advertising or Instagram ‘story boards’ are never going to directly replace other attraction tools, but will however bolster them and help enhance your company’s brand.

Improving your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), employment brand or whatever name you choose to call it, has been talked about for many years at conferences all over the world. Simply put – we all would like our brand to be known and loved by people in order to attract and retain the best employees.

Considering students and graduate recruitment, there are a ton of social media platforms that can be used to talk to young people nowadays, but you simply can’t escape from the big two: Facebook and Twitter. These 2 platforms really do rule the roost in terms of how everyone shares info, whether that be brands, individuals, news broadcasters or celebrities. Instant, interactive, easy, informative – they really do what you want them to at a low cost.

Some people will say, well Facebook is old now, and not everyone uses Twitter, and yes I understand we need to always look at new ways to engage students and young people, but new tools take years to grip and take hold of communities, across multiple demographics, ages and cultures in the way that these two channels have successfully done.

Related: GradWeb’s Sophie Meaney confirmed for Graduate Recruitment and Development Forum

Social media is a fantastic engagement tool that has changed the way we recruit. The beauty of being able to transmit regular, different and inspiring messages to an audience who want to listen is amazing. Being able to constantly communicate with candidates privately or openly through the various stages of recruitment, including:

  • Initial curiosity
  • Applying
  • Being offered a position
  • Starting
  • During their time with the company, and finally
  • Themselves then inspiring others who are going through the very same process

All this through social media – it’s pure brilliance!

Now if you have a brand, then this stuff is easy. Without a name it will be harder, granted, as initially more effort will be required to get your brand known.

It is also important to note that these things won’t work alone, and they won’t work when you aren’t ‘together’ as a company. There are businesses out there with multiple Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn pages, with the list extending into brochures, websites, advertising etc. The point I’m making is that consistency and simplicity is crucial – candidates shouldn’t be confused, as they will instantly disengage and find an alternative. Use all of your engagement tools together, that’s where the power comes.

Not everyone’s going to love what you are saying, but play to your strengths and engage the people in the business who really love what they do and genuinely care about your brand.

When I look back to my job on a recruitment desk eight years ago and think about the adverts that I used to post out on job-boards, compared to what we can do now, where companies can truly come to life on a student’s phone, I really do think we are blessed, and my word, if we aren’t maximising our social media presence with a young audience, we should be!

Read more about Neil Armstrong in an interview with HRreview.


Neil has almost 10 years of recruitment experience across a range of industries and skill sectors, and joined Boots in 2011 as a Recruitment and Talent Manager. In early 2013 he stepped into the Early Careers space by owning and shaping the recruitment strategy for all entry level Talent Programmes across Boots UK and Ireland. In a growing area of the business Neil has led the design and delivery of marketing Boots to an inquisitive audience, utilising the best channels to engage and inspire a new generation of Talent. The work Neil has done in the social media space has been recognised with multiple nominations for industry awards and he continues to drive the business forwards in an increasingly competitive space.

Neil is passionate about youth unemployment and works with the local community to support skills development to help young people enter work with the necessary employability skills.

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