Do Graduate Recruiters need to re-think where the people they’re looking for might be found?
Welcome back to our 5-part blog about the factors that are leading to a need for change in the way graduate recruiters choose to engage with future talent. Last week we covered why it’s much harder to get the attention of candidates today than in years gone by.
This week, we’ll explore where those candidates are found, and the changes in play that might mean you’re spending more time and money on your efforts, however could still be looking in the wrong places.
Why? Well we know that changes to Higher Education funding mean many students now prioritise factors such as location over reputation. And the sad truth is, some of the best and brightest simply can’t afford to fund themselves through university at all. Which means that, today, the talent employers typically target is increasingly found in less typical places. However, some Graduate Recruiters persist in visiting the same universities over and over again regardless of whether they’re getting results, either because they’re asked to, or simply because that’s where they’ve always had strong relationships.
Without wishing to cause offense, is that really the most intelligent approach? What did Albert Einstein once say….?
So where do you begin?
Tools such as HighFliers and Trendence are great for getting a detailed understanding of where the communities you need to be part of can be found, and provide a good temperature check for the sentiment around your brand on specific campuses.
But is this the right approach to take in today’s social, mobile and connected world? And, what’s the Milkround actually for, if not just a vanity parade?
The whole concept of targeting ‘audience groups’ with your messaging is based largely on an out-dated push marketing model. Research has shown that push marketing is less effective – there’s too much of it going on and we’re just not tuning in any more – even more so with millennials.
So how can we ensure that our messages reach the right people and are delivered in the right way?
Let’s take a moment to think about the modern graduate. How do they choose to consume media today compared to 5 years ago? What do they care about? How much time do they spend on their mobiles each day? Where do they spend time online, and why?
The answers to these questions will differ significantly from one person to the next, and it’s virtually impossible to cater for everyone’s needs on a one-to-one basis. But, it is possible to create a communications strategy that’s informed, human and leaves people wanting more.
In order to do that, you need to be personal and you need to market in the same way that your customers want to buy
Drawing people towards you is far more potent. It’s more challenging to get right, but when you do you’ll most certainly reap the benefits in today’s future talent market. It’s the right approach if you hope to gain the trust of even the most discerning young talent.
We’re not talking about people turning up at your front door of course. And we’re not suggesting you stop turning up on campuses. We’re talking about harnessing the power of communities and how you can position yourselves within these to begin delivering your message in the right way and becoming a source of value. It’s about finding the right blend of ‘pull’ as well as ‘push’. It’s about going where they are, not where you expect them to be.
If you’re successful in pulling people towards you, you’ll need to worry far less (and spend less) about what campuses you visit and what research you use to help you locate audience demographics.
Of course, to do this you’ll need great content and messages and we’ll talk about this in more detail next week.
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