Recruiting, Technology

Using Social Media to Recruit Talent? You Might Be Doing It Wrong

Social media is great for connecting with friends and family, staying up to date on the latest news and trends, and potentially recruiting talent … if you’re using it correctly. When it comes to using social media in the hiring process, it’s best to know the audience you’re trying to recruit. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered!

social media

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“Different generations are drawn to different social media platforms that correlate with the types of content people prefer and what they hope to gain from their time online,” says Toby Cox, Content Writer for The Manifest—a “how to” website for businesses.

The Manifest recently surveyed 627 social media users from across the United States to understand how social media use varies across generations and what types of content fuel their social media habits. Talent acquisition professionals can use these findings to help develop or improve their social media recruiting strategies.

“Discussing social media habits among generations is less about generalizing generational habits and more about thinking critically about the age of the generations, where they are in life, and what they hope to gain from their social media experience,” adds Cox.

Generational Habits

The Manifest found that when it comes to generational social media habits, Generation Zs (ages 13–17) and Millennials (ages 18–34) use social media more often than older generations, but that’s all these two generations have in common.

The research found that Gen Zs actually tend to spend more time on fewer social media platforms, while Millennials tend to use a more diverse range of platforms. On a weekly basis, the most popular platform that Gen Zs use is YouTube (89%), but for Millennials, this is the second most popular platform (86%). Millennials prefer Facebook (87%), which is used by only 36% of Gen Zs.

As you develop your social media recruiting strategies, it’s best to keep this information in mind. One way to appeal to both generations is through video-based content. By creating video job descriptions, “what it’s like to work at your company”-style videos, and other engaging video content, you’ll be able to share these videos across multiple platforms to appeal to the younger generations of workers. But wait! Don’t get too crazy just yet.

Could Facebook’s Popularity Be Declining?

Noting that Gen Zs rarely use Facebook, could this be the beginning of the end for the social media giant? The Manifest data indicate that for the younger generations, this may be true, but not so much for the older ones.

As mentioned above, only 36% of Gen Zs use Facebook at least once a week, but 87% of Millennials, 90% of Generation Xers, and 96% of Baby Boomers report using Facebook the most. Although it doesn’t seem like the platform will be going away anytime soon, it may be time to look at who you’re targeting through that website. Just keep in mind that job ads that target a specific age group could land you in hot water.

“Although the age group of Facebook’s user base might be deterring younger generations, so might the type of content Facebook specializes in,” says Cox. “Content on Facebook tends to be diverse, ranging from text-based to highly visual.”

However, Cox adds that this might deter younger generations from using Facebook because they won’t get to see the content they’re interested in. So, what types of content appeal to younger generations? Visual, short-lived content, like what you’d find on Snapchat or Instagram.

The New Front-Runners of Social Media

According to The Manifest data, two-thirds of Gen Zs (68%) and 52% of Millennials use Snapchat at least once a week compared with only 32% of Gen Xers and 5% of Baby Boomers. Snapchat is a messaging platform where users can share videos, messages, and more. The concept is unique and appeals to younger generations because of how short-lived the content is, which also gives users a sense of privacy.

“Snapchat allows users a private experience contained to their own network, but it also gives users the option of connecting with others around the globe,” says Cox. “Snapchat’s heat map features allow people to see where the most ‘snaps’ are taken in a specific location.” This feature could help increase your company’s exposure across the younger generations that use Snapchat.

Although Snapchat may be great for sharing videos and messages, Instagram is still the front-runner for sharing pictures. The Manifest’s data back this up, as more than 70% of Gen Zs (77%), Millennials (77%), and Gen Xers (72%) use this platform at least once a week.

Instagram also has a “stories” feature, which allows users to take short videos and apply filters and text, similar to Snapchat. If you’re thinking about using these platforms to recruit talent, be sure to share unique and engaging content that appeals to these generations. You can “snap” workers celebrating a milestone, live-stream the company picnic, and more!

By creating fun and engaging employer-branded content throughout all your social media platforms, you’ll be able to attract talent of all age levels. Keep the above-mentioned data in mind, and you’ll be using social media the “right way” in no time!

Don’t forget, social media isn’t your only avenue for online recruiting. Google for Jobs is quickly gaining in popularity among recruiters. Learn how you can get the most out of your job postings by optimizing them for Google for Jobs, when you join Joel Cheesman for the RecruitCon 2019 Nashville recruiting hacks session: Google for Jobs: Want Your Job Postings to Rank Well in Google for Jobs? Follow These 7 Optimization Strategies. RecruitCon 2019 will be held in conjunction with HR Comply and Workforce L&D on November 14-15, 2019. To learn more about our giant HR World event, click here