Author: Ali Lindsay, Co-founder of RMP
I’m pretty sure the lead up to Christmas is supposed to be a wind-down involving Christmas parties, the odd Christmas dinner and keeping an eye on the Amazon deadline for Prime orders. But not for RMP Enterprise, and especially not this year. We had plenty to keep us occupied in December, including:
- The lead up to ‘Deadline Day’ on RateMyPlacement
- The National Undergraduate Employability Awards Sponsors Celebration
- Planning the National Undergraduate Employability Awards Judging Days
- The ‘small’ matter of an office move
- Planning our event, RMP Spotlight: Campus Insights Uncovered
The newly branded Campus Insights Uncovered event replaced the late Spring Onto Campus event that we’ve run for clients in November or December the previous few years. The event is designed to provide ideas, insights and advice on how employers can best engage with students both online and on campus.
We welcomed a great range of clients to the very quirky Tanner Warehouse in London Bridge for a showcase of campus creative ideas, a presentation from yours truly and a panel discussion chaired by RMP Marketing Director Lizzie Brock and four of our Brand Ambassadors.
For those of you who couldn’t make the event, we’ve distilled some of the key takeaways below. Enjoy!
Generation Game – The differences between Gen Z and Gen Y
Nice to see Gen Z, to see them nice.
Gen Y (or Millennials), typically 20-35 year olds, are being replaced on campus by Gen Z – people born after 1998. We explored some of the differences between the generations, but focused on those entering university right now.
Gen Z, as Digital Natives growing up alongside social media and mobile first platforms, have a shorter attention span and are quickly bored and wanting ‘the next thing’. They value their privacy and prefer private social media like Snapchat, and want real and authentic face to face communications.
Our Survey Says – The responses from 1,200 Gen Z RateMyPlacement users
As there are subtle differences between the generations, our approach to marketing to them on campus needs to vary.
Our survey showed that 94% of students valued face to face communication with employers. When we delved further, fairs (84%), presentations (57%) and skills workshops (52%) were the top three ways for students to be educated about work experience opportunities.
When asked about online channels for employers to engage with students, emails (74%) came out on top, followed by competitions (52%) and Facebook (48%). To get the most out of emails they need to be regular but not frequent, as students said they’d prefer either weekly (35%), fortnightly (28%) or monthly (28%) email communication. Only 4% said they wanted daily emails, which is probably a good thing given the time required to put together a daily communications schedule.
Be Outstanding – Stand out from the crowd on campus
Freshers fairs are an important part of RateMyPlacement’s marketing efforts as it means we get to meet students early, both in terms of time of year and in their uni career, but also because we can capture lots of data and start educating them on the notion of employability.
We don’t see many recruiters at careers fairs, but we’ve seen marketers doing some great things to target students. We’ve split these down into 3 areas:
Prizes and a sense of competition will peak the interest of students and help you attract the unattracted, plus the chance to win is a great incentive for a student to give you their email address for further communication.
A personalised giveaway ensures students spend more time with you at your stand, and they leave with something they will use time and time again.
Social Media Amplification
Ensure your campus presence has an online presence too, by posting images and hashtags on social media. Not only is your presence more memorable for the individual who posts online, but their network will see your brand too.
Got your number – capture student data to fill your talent pool
It’s not enough to have great interaction with students; it needs to be converted into a student talent pool for future communication and education. RMP suggested the top ways of capturing student data:
1. On Devices
Capture data from as many students as you can that you meet face to face. RMP recommends collecting 5 or 6 fields to get the sweet spot between the speed of capture and allowing future targeting.
2. Pre-registering for events
Encourage registration for presentations and workshops so you can manage numbers, send reminders and send follow-ups to attendees and non-attendees.
3. Take your campus events online with webinars and live chats
You can easily interact with students from across the country with webinars and live chats. Encourage sign-up to manage numbers and ensure you follow-up afterwards.
4. RateMyPlacement Shortlisting
RateMyPlacement has a new feature allowing students to not only shortlist certain jobs, but also opt-in to sharing their data with a client’s RMP Connect talent pool. 10,000 students have shortlisted jobs this year and 8,000 have shared their data with clients.
5. Leverage your website
Invite students to sign-up to your talent pool directly from your careers microsite by embedding a sign-up form. This will gather a lot of data from already interested students.
You’ve got mail – ensure your emails are opened and hit the mark
Capturing data is just the start as the real value comes from a well thought out communications strategy.
The basics of a good email
- Think about the subject line – make it enticing, but don’t include spammy words like “win”
- Send it earlier in the week and earlier in the day – we suggest Monday or Tuesday, sent 7am – 9am
- Make it personalised – use names and other details you’ve collected
- Use imagery, animations and gifs to make emails more interesting
Your Communications strategy
- Reminder emails – Reminding students who have shown an interest in an event or a role to attend or apply.
- Educational emails – Make your talent pool more knowledgeable about your schemes and opportunities by sending newsletters packed to the brim with useful info
- Coaching emails – Help potential applicants get through the application process with articles, videos and interviews, which will help them secure a role with you.
When I first started RMP Enterprise, 70% of recruitment activity was face to face and 30% was online. However, that’s now reversed.
Student Digital Natives are used to getting information online, and so online communication should be used further up the funnel for mass engagement and education.
Face to face is still really important, as Gen Z want real and authentic communications. Face to face recruitment is at its most efficient and effective to people who are engaged and educated about roles.
Finally, understanding Gen Z and tailoring your marketing mix can make the most of your precious time and budget resources.