Ernst & Young has seen the number of
graduate applications increase by 20 per cent
and its graduate acceptance rate increase by 7
per cent this year as a result of its successful
graduate recruitment strategy that included Facebook.
Seeking to differentiate the firm from its
competitors, in February 2008 Ernst & Young
became the first professional services firm in
Australia to launch a Facebook page. Today,
the sponsored page has accumulated more
than 12,000 fans.
“Graduates are overloaded with traditional
forms of marketing such as brochures,
advertising and email. While these have their
place, building your employer brand isn’t about
shouting the loudest, it’s about communicating
in a way your audience will respond to,” said
Margie Kwan, Ernst & Young’s employer
branding senior manager.
“Ernst & Young’s number-one channel for
graduate recruiting is word of mouth, so it
made sense for us to position ourselves where
graduates communicate. Through becoming a
fan of our Facebook page, graduates are
personally endorsing us to their peers.”
Recruiting as many as 500 full-time
graduates a year, Ernst & Young needs to
ensure it receives a high volume of applicants,
but Kwan said attracting the right candidates
was the main reason for opening the firm up to
graduates on Facebook.
Speaking ahead of the Social Media: A
Recruitment Revolution conference to be held
on 3 December in Melbourne, Kwan said it was
important to understand the process of
engaging in a two-way dialogue with graduates.
Through Facebook, Ernst & Young provides a
window into working with the firm by posting
video case studies and facilitating discussion
boards where students have the opportunity to
ask questions and speak with people who are
undertaking a career program with the company.
Even though incorporating social media into
an existing recruiting strategy can pay off,
recruiters are still approaching with caution.