Four companies were contacted to participate in a focus group social media use and students placement practice.
After analyzing the answers from all four companies it was evident that their responses could be divided into broadly two groups. The first group works exclusively with local companies and due to this, are not aware of the benefits of using social media to both attract & retain customers. We also identified a lack of awareness in terms of how social media can be used to attract & retain potential customers.
They are not necessarily interested in extending placement possibilities to foreign students because they don’t see the diversity this brings as a benefit that can help with their local clients. Another difficulty for this group is how to attract foreign students for placement or as interns to their company and their lack of ability to communicate in foreign languages.
The second group work with both local and international companies and because they work in the digital sphere these companies are actively using social media as a tool that works for their businesses and their employees are more internet savvy.
One of the companies in this group is owned by a foreign national but since half of the employees are foreign as well English is the official language of the office. The second company is very aware of how social media can help them due to their position in the new technology sector (They have designed a special program that enables TV stations to broadcast anything from live sport matches to films on hand-held devices like phones and tablets.)They already deal with all the major TV stations in their local market in Prague and are ready to expand to Europe and the rest of the world. These companies have a consistent presence across all the major social media platforms actively selling and promoting products. They have offices across four continents , employing many foreign nationals & are willing to give a placement opportunity to the right candidate if approached.
In conclusion, the two groups are a fair representation of their regions. The first group is located in a city called Usti nad Labem, which is about 100km from Prague. It has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, internet penetration & usage is not as high as in other regions and the standard of living is also one of the lowest in the country.
The companies in the second group are located in Prague – a cosmopolitan, capital city. Here they can take advantage of high internet penetration, high average salaries &low unemployment rates.
In summary, a company’s reaction to implementing best practice in social media etiquette as well as the placement of students has a direct correlation with the products or services that the company is offering, the type of people that work there and often it’s location as well.