Social Media 2018: The Sites Your Job Candidates Are Using Now

What’s your social recruiting strategy? Are you using the same social media sites as last year, and the year before?

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A new report from Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank, finds that while there are long-standing trends in social media use, a number of other sites are gaining traction.
The Pew report is based on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, 18 years of age and older, and includes a weighting process in order to ensure a fair representation of the population with regard to age, gender, education, race, Hispanic origin and nativity, region, and income level.

Where People Gather

According to the survey, 73 percent of U.S. adults now use YouTube and 68 percent use Facebook. People access the sites online and/or on their cellphone.
These are the only two sites that a majority of American adults uses. However, other sites have large numbers of users—and even larger numbers of younger users.
Consider these usage statistics, based on overall U.S. adult population:

  • Instagram, 35 percent
  • Pinterest, 29 percent
  • Snapchat, 27 percent
  • LinkedIn, 25 percent
  • Twitter, 24 percent
  • WhatsApp, 22 percent

Among adults 18 to 29 years old, though, the percentages change dramatically: 64 percent use Instagram and 68 percent use Snapchat. Among a younger subgroup, people 18 to 24 years old, usage is even higher for these sites: 71 percent for Instagram and 78 percent for Snapchat.
Adults 18 to 24 years of age also include more Facebook and YouTube users: 80 percent and 94 percent, respectively. In addition, Americans in this age group are more likely to be on Twitter than the general population; 45 percent use the microblogging site.
By contrast, 40 percent of Americans 39 to 40 years old use Instagram and 26 percent use Snapchat. Yet, among people in this age group, Facebook and YouTube usage is similar: 78 percent and 85 percent, respectively.
Where the difference really starts to become apparent is among people 50 to 64 years old. While 65 percent of Americans in this age group use Facebook and 68 percent use YouTube, only 21 percent use Instagram and a mere 10 percent use Snapchat.

Business Networking

And what about LinkedIn, the business network that has become a mainstay for many recruiters?
Usage varies by age group as well. LinkedIn is most popular among people 30 to 49 years old, at 33 percent. Younger users don’t appear to be as taken with the site. Only 29 percent of Americans 18 to 29 years old use LinkedIn, and that number is even lower among the subgroup of adults 18 to 24 years old: 25 percent.
Only two other groups use LinkedIn less: Americans 50 to 64 years old, at 24 percent, and Americans 65 and older, at 9 percent. It could be argued that these are midcareer or late career professionals, less inclined toward business networking.
But the subgroup of adults 18 to 24 years old includes typical ages for recent college grads and others interested in career opportunities. Which raises the question: What social media sites are you currently using to target these job candidates?

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.

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