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The Top 5 Recruitment Channels in the United States

SmartDreamers Team
4 min. read

Recruitment channels. There are just so many of them to choose from, right? How do you know where your candidate personas are hanging out in order to get your employer brand in front of them? Well, a great place to start is by looking at social media statistics for the market you’re in (or expanding into).


Today we’re looking at the market in the United States, where Pew research shows that 68% of adults are on Facebook, while Youtube captures 74% of the adult population as a whole and a whopping 94% of 18-24 year old cohort. 71% of that 18-24 group are using Instagram, and as a general trend, younger adults are using social media more than any cohort that came before, with 88% of 18-29 year olds reporting regular use of some form of social media.


How does all this apply to your talent acquisition efforts? With the research you’ve done to identify your ideal candidate persona, the next step is to get yourself in front of them wherever they already spend time. And in today’s market, that means picking the right social media channels to cultivate a company presence on.


A quick word on the differences between recruiting, in a more traditional sense, and recruitment marketing as we talk about it here. In recruiting, your focus is on finding the right individual for each particular opening within your company. Contrast that with recruitment marketing, where the focus is on attracting the right sort of applicants to your company.


This means you’re not selling openings, so much as selling your employer brand and letting the rest work itself out. And in today’s job market, which heavily favors the candidate, this route can increase your talent pool faster than ever.


OK, on to the list!

1. Youtube


This first one may come as a surprise; it did to us! It’s true, Youtube has unseated Facebook as the #1 most used social network in the US. It’s also true that the social aspects of this site are not used by every one of the site’s overall users. Usage of the comments, likes, and shares is growing fast, however, so it’s worth taking into account.


If you have the ability to produce slick, entertaining video content, don’t overlook the fact that 94% of the 18-24 cohort are using this platform. Make some highlight reel-style videos with current employees sharing funny anecdotes about your corporate culture, or do a walking tour of your campus, stopping to show off your amenities. Then, don’t forget to engage with your viewers when they leave comments!

2. Facebook


The granddaddy of social media sites is still going strong after well over a decade. While it’s true their demographic has changed with time, they’re doing a good job of catering to this new, slightly older, user profile.


With robust paid advertising options along with the ability to organically reach your own followers, you have more ways than ever to expand your reach on this channel. Starting with your current employees and their friends and followers, and extending all the way to that 68% of the American adult population who use the site. That’s a lot of eyeballs you have access to, so get your best stuff together and start posting! As above, don’t forget the importance of interacting with commenters, thanking people for sharing your content, and reciprocating by sharing theirs as well. This is how an online community is built, and that’s where you’re going to find the most dedicated potential applicants to bring into your talent pool.

3. Instagram


If you aren’t targeting Generation Z, you will be soon. This cohort is one of the largest, by sheer volume, to hit the job market in recent history. And they’re the first to be digital natives, meaning they’ve never existed without access to the internet and all it has to offer. With a usage rate of 71%, Instagram is where this generation is spending its social time online.


Being owned by Facebook, Instagram shares it’s backend with that site, so things like the ad platform cover both sites and you can run a single ad on both platforms quite simply. The thing to remember about this channel is that it is image centric. Having started as a picture sharing platform, Instagram remains heavily skewed toward this medium. This opens a whole slew of options for you to portray your employer brand and employee value proposition (EVP) via images with short captions, and you can even string these together into “stories” to tell a more moving tale.

4. Twitter


Twitter has weathered some bad press recently, and has come out the other side continuing to hold onto nearly ½ of the coveted millennial cohort. With its focus on short-form content, Twitter provides an outlet for your creative side.


Studies are also showing that when a company responds quickly to social media posts, both good and not-so-good ones, their stock goes up in the eyes of the public. 30% report that they would do business with these companies, even if they weren’t directly involved in the service interaction. Imagine what that means for your potential candidates!


With an emphasis on re-tweets, likes, and mentions (when you @ somebody in your tweet), you can show off your quick, and your quick-witted, responses to great impact here.

5. LinkedIn


Standing strong at #5 is the king of corporate social media. Despite not boasting the numbers of our other entries on this list, we decided that LinkedIn deserved a spot due to it’s slightly different focus from the other channels here.


If your target demographic is millennials, or Gen Y, focus your energy on those other channels. If, however, you have C-level, executive, or other mid-career openings, LinkedIn can be a goldmine. This is where your average Fortune 500 executive is scrolling, actively seeking content to read. If you tailor your presence to these folks, you’ll accumulate quite an impressive following of actively engaged execs, who will now remember you and your company should they decide to jump ship and look for a new position.


Regardless of which channels you elect to explore, there are a couple of basics it always pays to remember:


  • Engagement: The power of social media is truly unlocked when you interact with other people. Like their posts, respond to their comments on your posts, and do all of that in a voice that is authentic to you and your company.

  • Follow-up: If someone contacts you via, let’s say Twitter, respond to them quickly and in-channel. This may not be the best way to answer the question they’re asking, but this is where they felt comfortable reaching out, and by respecting that fact you show that you respect them. That'll pay off in the long run.

  • Employer brand: The whole reason you’re doing this social media thing, remember? Along with all the responding and re-tweeting, don’t forget to post original, informative content on a regular basis. That’s how you develop a following, both of your current employees and your potential candidates.


Remember these basics, stay engaged, and you’ll find both your followers and your active applicant numbers will rise to meet your expectations!

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