Canada is a connected country. With a total population of approximately 37 million (2017), Canada boasts a whopping 34 million internet users. That means ~93% of the total population is online. And if you’re looking to grow your talent pool in Canada, that’s great news.
Of that total number, 64% of online Canadians have an account with at least one of the major platforms (defined as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram). And it’s estimated that over ⅔ of them access their accounts more than once per day. So if you’re looking to make an impact on potential passive applicants, you can hardly go wrong with a targeted social media campaign here.
Two quick words about recruitment marketing and social media marketing as we discuss them here. Recruitment marketing is the use of inbound marketing tactics to attract and retain passive job candidates to your talent pool. This differs from traditional recruiting in that you are not marketing a job opening, you’re marketing your company as a great place to work in an effort to have these passive seekers come and find you when they’re ready to switch positions.
Social media marketing is the use of these platforms (Facebook, Twitter, et al) to spread the word about your company’s employer brand and employee value proposition to the masses. By targeting your ideal candidate persona on each specific channel, you can ensure these talented people remember your company and will seek out your careers page when the time is right, with no further work on your end.
Now that we’re clear on those terms, let’s jump into our list of the top 5 recruitment marketing channels in Canada:
No surprises here: the biggest social media network in the world is also the biggest in Canada, with a whopping 84% of connected Canadians using the platform. With a monthly active user count sitting at 80%, there’s a very good chance your target candidates can be found here.
Facebook’s demographics in Canada are a little different than in other countries, with a more consistent spread across age cohorts. Starting with ~90% of the 18-25 group and landing on ~75% of the 55+ range. No matter the career stage you’re looking for, they can be found on Facebook.
With one of the most robust ad platforms in the world, creating and targeting your ads to the right demographic is easy. You can even save multiple target audiences once you have the parameters set, making it a snap to come back with a new ad and get it posted in no time. Facebook allows a wide range of post types, so mix it up for better reach. Long-form blog posts, infographics, and even videos can all help attract the candidates you’re looking for.
Coming in a relatively distant second in terms of reach is YouTube with 59% of connected Canadians. YouTube may not be what you think of when you think “social media,” but don’t overlook the power of video to get your message across. While the more social features like comments and likes are not used by everyone on the site, they are growing in popularity every day, which makes YouTube a potentially intriguing option for engaging your target personas.
If you have the ability to produce slick video content, this is your dream platform. Maybe put together a highlight reel of last year’s achievements, with commentary by some of the employees involved. This helps to put a face on the company and its accomplishments. Or, take your viewers on a tour of your corporate campus, showing off your amenities in vivid detail. And remember when engaging with followers in the comments: the demographic skews toward the 18-25 cohort.
Coming next is the ultimate site for B2B networking, LinkedIn. Don’t let the narrow focus deter you: this channel is quite active for certain workers and is great for highlighting certain content. A commendable 46% of online Canadians have accounts on LinkedIn, giving you plenty of potential eyeballs for your posts. Adoption is high across age ranges again, like with Facebook, with a bit of a lean toward the mid-career 35-55 range.
That is to say, if you’re looking to fill entry-level positions, you might do better elsewhere. But if you’re looking to attract mid-level positions, this is your goldmine. LinkedIn users tend to enjoy long-form content, and once they decide they like your stuff, they’re also likely to follow and engage with you in the comments or via direct messaging (called InMail). The highest active user group in Canada is self-employed, meaning that this channel has the potential for active networking efforts.
With 42% of online Canadians claiming accounts here, Twitter seems to have weathered its recent spate of bad press and come out the other end swinging. 18-34-year-olds make up the vast majority of regular tweeters, so if you’re targeting Millennials or Gen-Y this channel is worth considering.
The focus on short-form (240 character max) posts encourages regular updating to keep your feed fresh. It also means that the user’s feeds are updated constantly, the average half-life of a tweet is only 18 minutes. At the same time, a recent study showed that 30% of people on Twitter would do business with a company that handled customer interaction via Twitter well. Even if they weren’t involved in said interaction.
Just imagine what that could mean for your potential candidate pool if you managed your account well, responded to inquiries, and engaged via retweeting and liking others content.
Quick note: technically, Pinterest comes next solely in terms of percentage of active users. However, for this list, we took into account the usefulness of each platform as well as the sheer volume of eyeballs present, and with that in mind we bumped Instagram up a rung into fifth place. Coming in at 36% of actively connected Canadians, Instagram shares an ad platform with parent company Facebook, making it simple and easy to cross-post ads using the same pre-set target audience parameters.
Two important things to remember when laying out your recruitment marketing campaign for Instagram: its user base leans heavily toward the Gen-Y crowd (18-25 years old), and it is image-centric. That means it’s time to dust off your digital camera and imaging software to compose compelling images that depict your employer brand in eye-catching ways. This platform is fantastic for flashy content designed to draw in new followers, who you can then direct to your more detailed content on Facebook or straight to your careers page.
One last useful fact about social media in the Canadian market is that only 39% of Canadian companies have a presence online, yet the overwhelming majority of page visits in the country are to corporate sites and social media profiles. In terms of recruitment marketing here, this means there is a massive untapped potential for you to step in and direct the attention of your target audience to your presence and to wow them with your content. Then, once they’re in love with your EVP, they’ll flock to your careers page when the time is right to make a career move.
About the author: Adrian Cernat is CEO and co-founder of SmartDreamers, a Recruitment Marketing Automation platform that empowers recruitment teams to smartly advertise jobs across the web. Integrated with Facebook, Google Ads, YouTube, Snap, Instagram, publishers, and niche websites, SmartDreamers streamlines the recruitment marketing processes.