A Closer Look

The Social Media Skills Gap – Millennials might not be the answer

Most companies naturally recruit millennials to fill positions that rely heavily on hopscotching through the digital social realm. That’s a mistake, says William Ward, Ph.D., because many digital natives used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like, strictly for maintaining connections to friends.Capture d’écran 2014-09-16 à 08.45.06

In fact, one in ten young people are rejected from a job because of their social presence on the web. “They are missing the bigger picture on how to use social media to help businesses meet their goals,” says Ward, social media professor at Syracuse and Hootsuite’s director of educational strategy.

The problem starts in school, he says. Social media is blocked at many K-12 schools. On top of that Ward notes, “They hear a lot about what not to do on Facebook, but they’re not being taught to use social media as an advantage.” The challenge mounts in college where digital and social education is “hit or miss,” depending on the student’s course work. Not to mention professors who encourage students to put their laptops away to deter multitasking (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

After graduating, Ward says, they often land in a job that provides no training and no one telling them how to meet professional objectives, despite the potential motherlode of research and analytics that social media provides. “It’s a really different skill set,” he says.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Job Skills Gap You Haven’t Considered | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

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