South African auditing firm BDO Spencer Steward has tapped into social networking with a Facebook campaign that is helping it recruit graduate students faster and more cost-effectively.

The campaign is from human resources software and services company Graylink.
A challenge for BDO in attracting the top graduates has always been the strength of the brands of the big four accounting firms it competes against.  Even though BDO is the fifth largest accountancy network in the world, local graduates still tend to automatically approach the big four for employment without considering alternatives.
Under the slogan "think different, think BDO", Graylink proposed meeting graduates in their own environment, using the popularity of social networking platforms.
With Facebook being the biggest social networking platform in South Africa with about one million users between the ages of 18 and 25 visiting the site daily, Graylink set up a Facebook fan page for BDO to communicate the company¹s values, culture and employee involvement to candidates and give them a glimpse of their potential workplace.
"Social networking platforms are tremendously popular among high school and varsity students. Visitors invest hours a day at the sites, view hundreds of pages and disclose a tremendous amount of information about themselves and their friends," says Mark Gray, head of Graylink.
"The familiarity of the environment and the direct nature of the interaction means you¹re much more likely to attract the right people. Rand for rand, there is no comparison in cost savings and effectiveness when it comes to traditional methods for recruitment."
Graylink recommended a fan page over a group page for these campaigns as fan pages resemble friends' personal profile pages, and are easier and faster to update while offering more communication options.
BDO's fan page markets the brand with pictures of the company¹s sports days, events, social responsibility campaigns, and offices. Together with job opportunities and general BDO information, all communicated in a relaxed style, the Facebook page positions the company as one with a serious employment proposition.
Interest generated through Facebook and the company¹s broader marketing strategy is used for a call-to-action, inviting potential employees to register their CVs on the BDO career website, which is powered by Graylink's recruitment automation and applicant tracking software.
"We saw the online environment as an untapped channel to promote our employer brand and get more graduate applications," says Jaco Nel, HR director at BDO.