On Friday I visited the University of Coventry to attend the PlaceNet Workshop, “Using Social and Digital Media in Employability Initiatives” (http://www.placenet.org.uk)
The presentations really got me thinking about how careers professionals and graduate recruiters face a similar challenge: how can we engage with students that come from a generation which processes and discards information very quickly. 8 seconds is, on average, the window of opportunity we have to catch their eye, according to Alex Field from Rate My Placement (@FieldRMP).
Alex and Graham Kaye-Taylor from Brunel University (@PlacementBlog) shared some fascinating thoughts on why we need to be disruptive with our engagement activities, including a live demonstration of Periscope with Sandy Chow at Centrica (@SandypwChow). The use of video to deliver short, catchy bursts of information as a “teaser” to lead students towards a more detailed message clearly has a lot of potential.
The workshop also reminded me why I enjoy this industry so much. My first experience of PlaceNet was when I spoke at their annual conference in 2006, and as I drove back from Coventry on Friday I was struck by the same feeling: I’d spent a day with a really enthusiastic group of professionals who care deeply about the process of helping students and employers engage through placements and internships.
With the recent High Fliers and AGR surveys reminding us that industry experience has such a crucial role to play in helping graduates become employable, I would strongly recommend PlaceNet as a great forum for employers and HEIs alike to discuss this important topic.