6 Wacky Ways To Attract Great Interns Socially

December 26, 2013

11:00 am

Does your company boast a top-notch internship program? If not, it may be time to toss your humdrum recruiting tactics out of the nearest window.

With 92 percent of U.S. companies now using social media for recruitment, it’s time for your company to step up the way it attracts and hires young talent. The future of recruiting demands intern and job applicants to showcase their know-how and skills with jaw-dropping accounts of creativity. It’s up to employers to think outside the box and generate truly imaginative ways to not only attract awesome talent, but also allow them to showcase their expertise and “fit” for the position and company.

The days when hack-a-thons were the most wacky hiring technique available are long behind us. Are you itching for some creative recruiting inspiration? Fortunately, there are a number of companies who’ve donned their thinking caps and taken to the online space to generate buzz around their internship and job opportunities.

Here are a few wacky ways your company should consider if you’re hoping to attract great interns or entry-level hires:

1. Twitterviews. Would you allow potential intern candidates to tweet for a chance to intern at your company? These 140-character Twitter interviews, known as Twitterviews, are how some companies are transforming their traditional interview process. At The Marketing Arm, a division of Omnicom Group, potential intern candidates were asked to respond to five tweets over five days. The best respondents became finalists for the position — no resumes or traditional screening interviews were used in their hiring process.

Ditching the traditional job interview for something more digitally forward may sound nerve-wracking. But finding the right hire for your company often means breaking away from the norm. With Twitterviews, your company will gain a completely new and unique perspective on potential intern candidates. If your company culture demands a creative intern who can think on their feet, this is the way to go. Although, this social interview tactic may not be the best match for every kind of intern position or company. It truly takes a special company to put this wacky tactic into action.

2. Social media challenges. Finding interns can be a challenge, so why not turn the tables and create a challenge to attract talented students, while also giving them a chance to impress you? Many companies are doing just that. MasterCard drew in interns with their #internswanted social media challenge. This campaign allowed college students from around the world to compete for a MasterCard internship by using social media. Each applicant was asked to submit an idea for a product, system, app or technique to improve the chances of a cashless future. Using Twitter and the campaign hashtag, interns with the most “likes” and retweets increased their chances of getting hired.

This year also marked Under Armour’s third annual social media challenge to find the “Ultimate Intern.” Applicants are asked to upload their resume and complete social challenges throughout the application process including developing a 40-second speech, interviewing an athlete, and creating a video documentary, and custom Tumblr page. Now that’s how you see what your intern candidates are really made of.

Social media challenges aren’t just for big-name brands. Your company can create its own set of online challenges to find outstanding intern candidates. What are some intrinsic values required for all of your interns? What about necessary experiences and skills? Take what you need and develop a challenge to best accommodate what you’re looking for in your candidates. It’s important to remember that running a social media challenge isn’t just for finding a social media, marketing, or digitally focused intern. This kind of intern campaign is a great way to attract business interns, too.

3. Tweetable intern applications. Let’s face it, the standard internship application doesn’t really do much to draw in extraordinary interns. But what if you took your internship application to social media? Minneapolis ad agency Campbell Mithun did just that to find and recruit their summer interns. Their 13-tweet application required interested interns to post 13 tweets about themselves to demonstrate their digital expertise.

If your company is looking to attract these types of interns to your internship program, putting a new spin on the traditional job application might be the first step in a more successful hiring process. Whether you decide to proceed on Twitter, Facebook, or even Pinterest, consider developing a unique social media application process to help find out who fits your mold. Remember, it’s up to you to put together an effective description to ensure your potential interns understand how to effectively present themselves in the medium of your choosing.

One potential downside to tweetable intern applications comes along with the brevity of the process. It may be best to use this as a screening process or a way to drive buzz to your internship posting, rather than relying on it as your sole recruiting and hiring method.

4. Twesumes. Lately, it seems recruiters and employers alike are calling for the death of the resume. While it’s certainly not dead yet, the resume is going through a social transformation. In the past few years, many companies are turning to social media platforms to gain the attention of the best talent within their industry.

The Twesume is a concise, 140-character status update posted on Twitter. A simple search for #twesumes will leave you craving this approach for attracting interns. But before you ditch the traditional resume for the more buzzworthy Twesume, keep in mind that this conversation-driven hiring method isn’t for the faint of heart. Your company must have a clear vision of how you want undertake the task of social resumes. How will you successfully evaluate candidates? What are you looking for in potential interns? It may also be smart to utilize more steps in your hiring process to make sure you’re hiring a well-rounded intern candidate, and not just someone with a social edge.

5. Social gaming applications. Thanks to the invention of the smartphone, we’ve all found ourselves a bit too engrossed in playing mobile games. But what would happen if you took the worldwide interest for social gaming and turned it into a way to attract knockout interns?

Muse, an advertising agency in Amsterdam, did just that when they decided to use Draw Something for their internship program. They found their “drawsome” interns by having candidates log on to the social gaming service and send their best drawing to the company. The best Draw Something artists were then moved onto finalists for the internship.

You don’t need to be looking for art department interns to use social gaming services in your recruiting and hiring process. Draw Something and social gaming services are a great way to gain a one-of-a-kind interaction with potential candidates. Consider setting up some form of competition for potential intern candidates where they complete using certain social games. While it may not directly relate to the hiring process, you’ll spark the interest of students who might just be the perfect addition to your company.

6. Vine resume. Brief looping videos have become all the rage thanks to the release of Twitter’s latest mobile video app. Employers looking to reel in great interns can take a lesson from one job seeker who got creative and put together the world’s first Vine resume.

If you’re looking for a new screening process or even to ditch the resume altogether, a quirky looping video of a candidate might be just what you need. Let your intern candidates show you what they’ve got by asking them to put together their very own Vine resumes. As with any other form of social media resume, this type of approach is best suited to industries and positions with a more digital focus.

If your company provides a one-of-a-kind experience for your interns, then it’s time to switch up your recruiting and hiring process to better reflect what you have to offer. Social media and social gaming services can provide you with a more effective path landing an intern that’s the perfect match for your company.

Would you try one of these wacky approaches to attract great interns to your company?

Guest author Ashley Mosley is Community Engagement Manager of InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers. Connect with Ashley and InternMatch on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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