GM turns to MTV to reach new employees
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- As it tries to attract new employees for the years to come, General Motors has gone to one of the youth market's biggest global watering holes -- MTV.
GM has been advertising itself on the cable TV music channel to show young people its potential as an innovative employer. On one of its most visible recent pitches, MTV stunt skateboarder Rob Dyrdek performed a 360-degree flip of a new Chevrolet Sonic.
That was partly to increase the Sonic's hip factor among millennials who might not be thinking about buying Chevrolets. But the spot was also part of a larger campaign to put GM in the minds of young people who never considered working for America's biggest automaker, says Sean Vander Elzen, GM's senior manager for global talent acquisition.
"We want to reach out to millennials and get them to consider that GM is an attractive workplace," Vander Elzen said here Tuesday at Center for Automotive Research's 2012 Management Briefing Seminars. "We need people from all different generations. But we have been working with MTV to develop ideas for bringing more millennials into our work force."
About half of the roughly 80 million people in the millennial generation are in junior high school, high school and college -- the core viewing audience of MTV. The cable channel has a marketing group called Scratch that has begun working with companies such as GM to tap into those MTV demographics.
Vander Elzen, who also worked at GM's Saturn and OnStar subsidiaries, says that GM is concerned about its future work force needs for professional employees and skilled workers as it rebuilds its ranks.
The past decade of corporate restructurings, layoffs, bankruptcies and other negative news has hurt the industry's reputation among young people, Vander Elzen said. He said that the city of Detroit's image also turns off some young people.
"It's not the right place for everybody, but it is for a lot of people," he said.
"We find there are some really outdated perceptions when we go to campuses to talk about working in the auto industry. But being an innovative company attracts young people."
You can reach Lindsay Chappell at email@example.com.