As recruiters seek to identify innovative ways to attract talent, social media has become an effective college recruiting tool when using a strategic approach. The National Association of Colleges and Employers provides this information to companies seeking to use social media to recruit more effectively.

“It’s one thing to have these tools, but the new question employers have to ask themselves is ‘What are we going to ask our talent community to do?’” said Ashley Hoffman, vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships for Brazen Careerist.

These interactions have evolved from an organization simply tweeting out job openings or posting links to its career pages, to it issuing calls to action—such as engaging students in contests or virtual job fairs—that can strengthen the bond between the organization and its talent community.

“Employers have to develop innovative calls to action to increase the likelihood that students will apply for a job in the future,” Hoffman says. “They also have to understand the ways in which college students are using social media.” For example, Gen Z may not use Facebook in the same ways that members of Gen Y do. And, she notes, emerging tools like Snapchat and Vine are gaining traction among today’s college students. Hoffman also suggests employers use video to add more depth to their messages.

“They should use multimedia; it doesn’t have to be elaborate,” she says. “Instagram video and Vine have made creating video very easy. Employers can do a quick ‘day in the life’ video or introduce a recent graduate hire. It doesn’t have to be a corporate message all the time. Instead, they should show the organization’s personality.”

Most importantly, when it comes to social media, employers need to have a well-researched and thought-out plan.

“Employers shouldn’t spread their resources too thin when it comes to social media,” Hoffman advised. “Instead, to be effective, they should be strategic about where and when they engage college students on social media.”

Illinois State University’s Career Center provides a number of social media channels for employers to connect with Illinois State students and alumni, including Facebook , Twitter, and LinkedIn, and by using  #StateYourCareer in all posts regardless of social media venue. Recruiters are welcome to use these tools not only to connect with the Career Center but also to connect with  Illinois State talent.

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers