Companies and collegiate job seekers look to social networking as a way to attract and develop relationships online and offline during and after their college experience. Companies use blogs, social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace, and job boards to attract job seekers and develop an online brand and image. Affinity networking websites can offer companies a unique opportunities to build and solidify a personal relationship with students and alumni.
College Networking with Social Media Affinity Groups
Online affinity community networking are targeted websites provide forums for job seekers to network with other job seekers within their university, geographic, or interest and also engage companies in a comfortable, controlled, and casual atmosphere. Businesses can use podcasts, YouTube videos, testimonials, and other tools to establish relationships and connections. Job seekers can create profiles similar to those on LinkedIn to connect with companies that are targeted their candidate search as well as establish or build new relationships with other affinity group members.
MyWorkster.com is a collegiate networking site launched earlier this year that allowed for interactive profiles that offer integrated social networking features that work with Bebo, Skype, among others. Companies can engage students and alumni within their designated university group or outside. University Career Service departments can promote the networking site for free for basic services while employer costs are subscription based. Alumni and students can engage others within the network using user profiles or community groups.
Another specialty affinity networking group that caters to current and former student is Career Athletes. Career Athletes provides companies a way to engage alumni and student athletes who have demonstrated leadership, teamwork, and competitive behaviors that can easily be translated to the professional business world. Businesses can use videos, testimonials, and email campaigns to reach candidates using their athlete database or targeted university, community advertising, or by participating in their campus visit program. Student and alumni can build relationships with one another by participating in their mentor program as well as developing relationships on community message boards.
As social media networking platforms membership and popularity continues to grow, niche affinity networking groups will continue to be an important way to engage members with commonalities or of similar group interests or backgrounds. The courting candidate process especially for competitive industries continues to grow in importance as companies seek to gain a competitive advantage from a student’s freshman year and as an experienced professional and alumni.