Saturday, 22 February 2020
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Digital enthusiasm: finding trainees in social networks

At a time when there is a shortage of skilled workers, companies in the lift industry have to adopt new ways of finding trainees.

(Photo: © ismagilov /

Today, young people are above all active in social networks, such as Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. But can one arouse young people’s enthusiasm for training in the lift industry there?

Companies are getting ever fewer responses to training vacancy adverts. The lift industry is also facing a shortage of new recruits. The classic ways of looking for trainees have stopped working and many companies are trying to find solutions.

A completely new way of finding trainees is looking in social networks, since they are now part of everyday life for young people. But where does it make most sense for companies to look for trainees? Facebook remains the market leader among social networks with 2.4 billion users worldwide.

Also popular – especially among the young – are Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Tumblr. If one makes creative use of these platforms as part of training marketing, one can get the attention of young people for a company’s training vacancies.

Creative training marketing

Since most social media channels function above all by means of pictures or videos, a photo or video diary would be a good way of presenting every aspect of your profession or company to potential trainees. However, extraordinary products, great projects or funny stories could also take centre stage.

Company publications should not give the impression of being advertising though, but rather be informative and simultaneously entertaining. Consequently, important ingredients are humour and also a little self-irony – both generate sympathy in the target group. Of course, this is a tightrope walk every company has to navigate on its own: one should never raise a question mark over one’s own professionalism or competence.

Limited length of videos

HandwerkIf you make your own videos, the length should not be overdone: in some platforms, the running time of the clip is limited to 10 to 60 seconds. Continuity is far more important to ensure new and interesting content is regularly available. The photos or videos do not have to have a high gloss character: authenticity above all leads to the desired goal.

What also accounts: many videos are watched with no sound, because other people should not be disturbed. Consequently, it can make sense to insert corresponding subtitles in videos. There are various easy-to-use apps to achieve this.

Observe legal requirements

Anyone who decides to become active in social media should develop a clear concept in advance that covers all important requirements. Apart from the planned objectives and responsibilities in your own company, all of the legal requirements should be recorded that have to be observed.

For example, in the European Economic Area, among other things, all requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) should be observed. What is important for example is that social media apps do not obtain any access to the address book of smartphones or tablets to ensure that contacts cannot be read out. If you want to be sure, you should obtain an additional device that is available exclusively for social media and is not used to save personal data.

Observe the time factor

Involvement in social networks is admittedly free, but nevertheless costs something - namely, time. On the one hand, to produce new and interesting content on a regular basis, on the other, to interact with users. This is because social networks above all live from exchange, from mutual "likes" and commenting on other content.

If you do cannot or do not want to take this time, you will not achieve any great success in social networks. This is why developing a social media presence above all makes sense if you look for new trainees regularly.

To strike the right tone in social networks, your own trainees or young employees should be included while developing ideas. The latter often know their way round social networks very well and are pleased to support their own company in this area.

To enhance the familiarity of your own channels, these should in addition be intensively advertised, for example, on your own homepage, in mail signatures or advertisements. Over time, your own social media will become even better known – and reach more potential trainees.

Thomas Busch

Overview of social networks

Network   Description Users worldwide Internet
Facebook   Social platform for sharing texts, photos and videos approx. 2,4 billion
YouTube   Social platform for sharing videos approx. 1,9 billion
Instagram   Social platform for sharing photos and videos approx. 1 billion
Tumblr   Blogging platform for texts, pictures, videos and audio files approx. 350 billion
Pinterest   Social platform for sharing photos approx. 300 billion

Table: As of: 11.09.2019 All information subject to correction.

Checklist: Approach to trainees in social media

1.) Create concept: What objectives should be achieved? And by what means: texts, photos or videos?
2.) What social media are best suited for this? YouTube is especially suitable for example for videos, Pinterest and for photos and Facebook for videos, photos and texts.
3.) Define responsibilities: who looks after social media channels? Who is responsible for texts and photos? Who replies to commentaries and questions?
4.) Find your own style of address: your own texts should be neither too formal nor excessively youthful, but rather relaxed and authentic. Generally, the form of address in social media is informal.
5.) Develop image: what is your company philosophy? How can you transport this via your postings in social media?
6.) Develop content: what contents are suitable, for example photo-/video diaries of trainees, especially projects, interviews or insights into your own company, are suitable?
7.) Select protagonists: have employees and especially trainees speak repeatedly in your social media channels. In this way, young people get first-hand information from people they consider to be especially credible.
8.) Reduce length: the attention span on the Internet is very short. This is why texts and videos should be short and convincing from the start to ensure users do not click them away.
9.) Arouse emotions: content is above all shared and forwarded on the Internet that arouses emotions, entertains or is simply funny.
10.) Plan updates: how often and when in future should new content be uploaded? Develop a concept with creative ideas.
11.) Start an interaction: get into contact with other users. Comment on texts, photos and videos of other people. Reply to questions or take part in technical discussions or training subjects.
12.) Follow laws: always observe legal requirements of the respective countries, such as the GDPR or copyright during online activities.

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