The VPM Blog

How millennials Use Social Media to Research Potential Employers

Posted by Eric Callaghan on Mar 10, 2016 8:00:00 AM

A third (34%) of employers who scan social media profiles said they have found content that has caused them not to hire a candidate according to CareerBuilder. But how many candidates have decided not to continue pursuing an employer because of their social media profiles? My guess is, more than you'd think.

Millennials account for 36% of the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they will account for 75% of the global workforce by 2025. And guess what, 93% of millennials are using social networking, so chances are they're looking at you even more than you're looking at them on socials. Let me tell you about my experience entering the job market for some perspective on how millennials use social media to research potential employers.

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I am:

1) a millenial

2) a soon-to-be graduate with a degree in PR Communications, and

3) interested in the digital comms field with almost a year's experience in inbound marketing under my belt

Those three details probably make me a harder judge on social media profiles than most, but also (to humble brag) probably gives me a leg up on the competition entering the field. Let me tell you the three things that I, a soon-to-be-graduating millennial, am looking for in a potential employer's social media content.

 1. Information
What do I mean by this? Well, if I'm looking for a job, I'll search for the industry (digital marketing/PR/communications), the location, and start compiling my list of places to do more research on. I'll poke around on their website and then their socials to get the most information about them as possible. What do they do? Who do they work with? Where are they located? These can all be answered in a succinct, personable bio on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Furthermore, the types of things they're posting can give me a better idea of what it's like to work there. Behind-the-scenes shots of employees who look like they're enjoying their work day? Great! Video shoot or client meeting taking them out of the office to a unique environment? Even better! 

What I don't want to see is nothing. At least make an effort to show that your business has a fun, creative, and engaging environment where people look like they want to show up to work. Otherwise, you'll have a hard time convincing me through blocks of text. Use those visuals! For instance, here at Verge Pipe Media, we are beginning to have Snapchat takeovers. This allows an opportunity for our Snapchat followers to see Verge Pipe Media through the eyes of our interns and employees, giving a firsthand look at what a day in the life at VPM is like. This is much better than a generic "talk-through" at a first interview.

2. Their Social Strategy
Verge Pipe Media has trained me to essentially do a quick marketing evaluation on every social profile I land on. It's pretty much instinctual at this point for me to check for a complete bio, how often they're posting, and most importantly what they're posting. There isn't a hard number or strict rulebook for any of these focus areas. It's kind of like how you know when an actor's performance in a movie is good or bad. There's not one answer, but you'll know it when you see it. (sidenote: Congrats to Leo!) Even a better rule of thumb, you'll know it when you don't see it:

They don't post images or link previews to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Strike one. They only post once every 3 weeks? Strike two. They auto-feed their Facebook/Twitter/Instagram to post identical content to all three platforms? Strike three...but I, or your potential candidate, may not punch you out just yet.

3. Where do I Fit In?
There are two ways to take it when a brand's social media profiles leave much to be desired: either they're not for me or I can work wonders there. You may be Inbound certified, or even HubSpot certified, or dare I say it, HubSpot partner certified(!) and know the tenants of inbound like the back of your hand. This means you know what a good social media account looks like and can tell when an agency, brand or company is doing things well. If they are, then great! You may have found your match. If not, that's where these two paths branch off.

You can say, "F this," and move on to find someone who's doing it better, or say, "I'm going to transform their practices for the future and make them grow like they didn't even know was possible!" 

These same general ideas apply to job searchers in any profession or industry, not just marketing and communications. You can bet those on social media (remember: 93% of millennials) are looking up their potential employers to get a sense of the day-to-day through social media. What does that mean for your business? You need to amaze. Have an optimized, informational bio, post regularly, and post engaging content that includes visuals! You can do this, but if you need some more information to get started, click below for a FREE eBook!

5 Core Services of Inbound (updated)

Graphic created in Canva

References

http://www.shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2014/0914/pages/0914-social-media-hiring.aspx

http://www.statista.com/statistics/281592/media-use-millennials/ 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/#2ade2feb24fd 

Topics: Social Media Strategy, Social Media

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