The social media in its infancy was used more for entertainment but in the last few years it has morphed into an inescapable medium for one and all – more so for universities and students.
Social media is transforming the job search landscape as more and more students are using the medium. Younger workers (41%) are most likely to search for jobs on social media. Gone are the days when young men and women strolled the streets to get hold of a copy of the ubiquitous ‘Employment News’ to find job openings.
Times have changed as one gets all the information on job openings at a click of a button.
It takes a minute to upload a resume and if one is lucky, a day to get hired. As per Jobvite ‘2019 Job Seeker Nation Survey’, social media is a rising star when it comes to seeking new opportunities — 35% of survey respondents say they find out about job openings there.
Extensive reach, manageability & controllability of social media and the collaborative engagement fostered by social media plays an important role.
NACE, National Association of Colleges and Employers that took inputs from more than 21,000 students from colleges and universities of U.S. in 2017, stated, “Over the years, students who used social media in the job search have become more comfortable with the idea of being contacted by potential employers.”
|Students comfortable being contacted by an employer||57.7%||52.4%||37.7%|
|Students comfortable initiating contact with an employer||32.2%||24.7%||27.6%|
Students’ Level of Comfort Communicating with Employers on Social Media (Source: NACE)
The numbers are increasing in India as well with internet penetration rate registering an annual growth of 18% with crossing 500 million mark. Also, as per Alexa, the top most sites visited of the country include Facebook, LinkedIn and Naukri.
Sai Kiran, 3th year student, NIT – Tadepalligudam says, “I almost check-in my LinkedIn daily as people who are hiring are mostly looking at LinkedIn profiles. If I’m not on LinkedIn, I might miss out of a lucrative job opportunity.”
“In-fact many of my friends got freelance work opportunities through LinkedIn.”
Nikhil Swaroop, 24, ex-employee of AFCONS Infrastructure ltd, was selected by a MNC based out of Hyderabad, only after cross-checking his social media profile.
Undeniably, while the use of social media for job search and validation is on rise, what is more interesting is that how the social media is being leveraged by students for job search. A maximum percentage of students — 77.9% — agree upon using social media to research about the potential employer of interest. The students judge the company on the basis of kind of posts, pictures, event-info they share.
|Use Of Social Media||% Of Students|
|Researching potential employers of interest via a platform’s search bar||77.9%|
|Posting a resume on a publicly accessible profile||50.5%|
|Communicating with friends and/or family to discuss job openings and potential employers||39.5%|
|Communicating with current employees of potential employers||28.9%|
|Receiving recruiting-related messages from employers via private message||27.8%|
|Communicating with university alumni who worked for potential employers||18.7%|
|Initiating contact with potential employers via private message||17.6%|
Students leveraging social media for job search (Source – NACE)
Owing to this trend, recruiters, vice-versa, are doing much for their brand management on social media platforms. As per 2018 Jobvite survey, “the top investments for growing an employer brand are: social media (47%), company career website (21%), and marketing and advertising (12%).”
LinkedIn is the most-used channel for recruitment efforts — with 77% taking advantage — followed by Facebook (63%).
Instagram’s popularity with job seekers has also increased its use with recruiters — now, a quarter of recruiters are investing in recruiting efforts on Instagram, especially millennial recruiters (35%) and those working at technology companies (63%) — double the number in 2017.
How else social media benefits Recruiter
Pool of candidates: Research indicates that placing an advertisement in popular media or on an organisation’s website has a limited chance of attracting the right candidates (Phillips & Gully, 2012). This is because mainly active candidates seem to apply to these advertisements, resulting in a small and limited candidate pool. As the number of users on social media increases, the organizations have an ability to choose best candidate even out of passive and semi-passive candidates.
Low cost of accessibility with no waiting period: The major advantage with the social media is its ability to furnish the access to applicant’s information at a very low cost. And, this almost happens instantaneously, without having recruiter to wait.
Cultural fit: A little analysis of the candidate’s social media profile helps the company analyse their cultural fit. “The last issue a recruiter never likes to mess about is with the mis-guided personality types representing their brand,” expresses HR Head of UBZ Consultants.
University’s Social Media Presence & On-Campus Recruitments
With both students and recruiters actively present on social media, universities join the journey too. Right from big league of IIMs & IITs, to universities like Amity, LPU, Sharda, DU and IISc, each varsity maintains keen updates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to endorse events, student success-stories and happenings. This helps them in catching eye of good recruiters.
|IIM Bangalore||44.6K||25, 810||146,041|
|Lovely Professional University||6,223||1,501,673||81,280|
|Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University||394||1,443,251||989|
|University of Delhi||7,774||929,356||608,696|
|Indian Institutes of Science||35,141||79,337||98,849|
For instance, IIT Madras’s LinkedIn account has more than 85k followers and a huge alumni presence on LinkedIn which proves beneficial to institute in many ways.
While the presence of university on social media helps create a market trust and brand, this doesn’t necessarily result an ease in campus recruitment. Prof Manu Santhanam, Advisor, Training and Placements, IIT Madras, says “The response-rate of the recruiters once our college sends a campus-drive proposal over social media is somewhere between 15%-20% to a standard recruitment invitation on LinkedIn. “What matters more is to reach out to a right person on social media” adds Prof Santhanam.
Prashant Gupta, Executive Director at Sharda University, reiterates, “The response rate for campus recruitment proposals on social media is still on the lower end of the spectrum –especially in developing nations like India.”
Dr Sanjay Gupta, Vice Chancellor at World University of Design, says, “Besides being actively present on social media, a university has to carry out specific drives and other creative ways to engage with recruiters.”
Social media is decidedly a good place to start for jobs, what is more important is to continue building a better level of engagement with recruiter. The possible means could be through email conversations, telephonic calls or text messages. In fact, as per studies, a mobile text commands a near-perfect 98 percent read rate. HEP spoke with people around the country to know how social media is adding value to career.
Soumitra Mookherjee, Associate Professor of Management, Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF), New Delhi says, “The student-alumni interaction on social media helps as alumni is scattered all over the world. On the flip side, at times, the responses may appear quite confusing as both parties might not take the messages posted on social media in the right spirit.”
“Hiring process in most reputable and mid-sized organizations is internet driven. Community connects are beneficial where employees can refer candidates based on their previous performance track record, work experience, qualifications. As far as hiring fresher’s are concerned, social media has no major role to play and hence, organizations conduct on campus/ off campus interviews as part of the recruitment process. Therefore, social media is an option, but not necessarily, the best alternative available for hiring candidates.”
“I am in touch with many juniors and seniors from my college and university, and it help
s us know about conferences and events. I live in the US, I have often scanned chapters from books that are available here but not in India, in order to send them to my friends and juniors who might need them for their studies. Social media played an important role in sharing them,” believed Tuhin Bhattacharjee, who is currently a PhD Scholar, Department of Comparative Literature, New York University, and has been a faculty member in Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Belur Math and Calcutta University.
“Instagram can be a great platform for recruiting young people and bringing-in fresh talent in an organisation. It’s a fast and easy way to reach potential candidates. Candidates can also get a brief idea about the brand by viewing their profile and apply for positions accordingly. The application has a vast reach; moreover posts can be shared and advertised by numerous people. Anyone who knows of a potential candidate can make them aware of the opportunity by tagging them on a post.
Hence, it is a productive platform for people to connect with each other and apply,” added Anupriya Kanoi, a third year student at Textile Design Department, NIFT, New Delhi.
Ashish Gupta, IIM Sirmaur, second year, Marketing and Operations stated, “Some students got internships from their alumni connections on LinkedIn. I connected with one of my alumni for TEDx talk through LinkedIn. Moreover, there is an application of LinkedIn called LinkedIn Professional in which you can list the job opportunity and interested people can apply and you can further shortlist on the basis of their LinkedIn profile and resumes for the further process.”
“I got recruited by Ericsson India in 2014. Our campus recruitment was one of the well-known
drives in the entire eastern region. It was written as recruitment drive for IBM, India for Scripting language programming. LinkedIn is one such reliable site where working professionals from different category can connect together and get recruited or recruit someone to a better, competitive and more comfortable workspace,” suggested Chandan Bose, Solution Integrator, Ericsson India.
Ballari Saha, c talks about the perception of students towards social media platforms.“Social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn are used to advertise jobs, find talent, and communicate with potential recruits about company culture. LinkedIn, known as the professional face of social media, is always a blessing for all who are looking for a new job or looking for a change. On the other hand, many institutes maintain their Alumni Facebook page, which if utilized properly, can be very useful for job seekers. Hence, students, apart from their college Placement Cell are benefitted a lot by social media platforms, which turn out to be productive if followed and responded spontaneously.”
Several institutions maintain their Alumni cell, which if followed up properly, turns out beneficial for the present and upcoming batches. Many colleges have their Alumni Facebook page, that come up with opportunities in their organization for fresher (the present final years mostly) as well as for experienced professionals which might help someone get a steady career. Face book Alumni connection is mostly used by multiple students and helps many of them to seek their first job. (With inputs from Triparana Ray and Subrat Swain).