– By Nicole Freeston
Hollis Thomases, President & CEO of Web Ad.vantage, wrote an article that was posted on Inc. on August 10, 2012, listing 11 reasons why you shouldn’t hire a recent graduate to manage your company’s social media accounts. Thomases uses the example of 23 year olds, which may be the average age of new grads; however as someone on the verge of turning 23, and the one who oversees all of Magnolia’s social media, I, of course, had to respond to this.
I can’t say this for all of us who are 23, or almost 23, but I love the fact that I was born in 1989. Unlike children born in the mid-late 90s, we didn’t necessarily ‘grow up digital’. Of course this is a big generalization to assume anyone born after 1989 is obsessed with technology and social media; I mean to say that we did things the old way for a while. I spent half of my childhood without a computer, didn’t have my first cell phone until Grade 11, and didn’t join Facebook until I was almost done high school. It is definitely a little disheartening to find that we’ve been thrown in with all of those who were born digital.
Since I have lived a portion of my life without social media and explored its uses and misuses while in University, I’m able to be critical of it. I may be generalizing again, but I’m assuming that anyone like me, who has studied Media or Communications, has been exposed to similar things. When a recent graduate applies for a job to manage social media, they are most likely someone with that particular background. We also learn to use social media to market ourselves and are careful what we post, so wouldn’t we do the same thing for the company that hires us?
Of course there are youth that fit the stereotype that Thomases proposes. I understand that “being good on Facebook,” doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the online identity of a big company. I’ve shaken my head numerous times when I see people treat Facebook or Twitter like a diary. However I assume and hope that these people are never going to apply for a job managing social media.
Like most job openings, there is some sort of an interview and training process. If employers are fearful of these negative qualities associated with youth and social media, find out during the interview if there is anything to be afraid of. If your company has a particular way of using social media with regards to language, etiquette, or general policies specific to your brand, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a new grad and letting them know about these rules, just like you would do with any position, with any person, of any age. A new hire needs to learn the company’s procedures, culture, and products, regardless of what position they are in. It’s not necessarily viable to use age as a reason to expect less from a recent grad. In fact, a 23 year old may do a better job managing social media than someone older. Having grown up using social media, as well as being old enough to see its misuses in those younger than us is an advantage. We know the uses, the trends, and the important roles social media should play in the industry.
I don’t fully disagree with Thomases. There are youth that fit the mould she describes, but these individuals are not representative of all new grads. Most of us know how difficult it is to land any kind of gig in this industry and are eager to learn and work hard. So, trust us!
Read Hollis Thomases full article HERE.