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Social Media Recruiting Techniques and Other Strategies to Hire Youth

There’s a hidden workforce in eastern Ontario. It’s a workforce you likely see every day on your way to work, you’ve met this workforce through friends, family, or in your day to day life. Any guesses? 

They are youth, not currently employed or in education streams. Youth make up a larger hidden workforce that eastern Ontario employers have yet to fully harness the power of. One of the reasons for this might be because employers are completely missing youth with their recruitment strategies. 

In this blog post, let’s explore social media recruiting techniques and other effective strategies to hire youth and find one section of the hidden workforce in eastern Ontario. 

Do It For the ‘Gram! Social Media Recruiting Techniques

Much like you want to meet your customers where they are, meet youth where they are, too. And youth are, predominantly, on social media. 

Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, especially Instagram Reels allow you to showcase your company culture, your brand, and the jobs you’re hiring for. To create engaging posts and video content on these platforms you’ll need: 

  • trial and error: there’s a learning curve involved in any new technology or app. Don’t be discouraged and don’t overcomplicate things. Here’s an easy formula to create engaging job postings or company awareness posts for your business: 
    • Write a headline: summarize the main point and value of your post
    • Value: Stick with 1 specific focus (eg. We’re hiring!) and limit yourself to 3 key messages in that focus (eg. job title/short job description, full time/part time, wage range)
    • Call to action: your call to action should encourage job seekers to do just that, take action (eg. Go to the link in bio to apply now!)
  • a few bells and whistles: you don’t need to go overboard but never underestimate the value of a filter to soften your images or videos. Online graphic design platforms like Canva have premade templates that you can use on your Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram Reels and posts to help you organize your content and include branding in your messages. 
  • #hashtags: in order to make the algorithms on these platforms work for you, don’t forget to utilize hashtags. Some hashtags that can help you get found by the right audience include: 
    • #NowHiring or #NowHiringEasternOntario or #NowHiringBelleville (Kingston, Northumberland, etc) or #NowHiringDrivers (or Stylists or Grads etc)
    • #JobSearching or #JobSearch or #JobGoals or #JobHiring or #JobPosting or #JobApplication

Remember to always capitalize the first letter of every word to make your hashtags more accessible for disabled residents using screen readers. 

A cell phone with apps used for social media recruiting techniques visible on screen.

Using social media doesn’t stop with your recruitment practices. While hiring you can still utilize social media to bridge the gap between youth skills and recruiters. For example, instead of asking for paper resumes, use alternate screening methods like short video resumes uploaded to YouTube or shared on social media platforms. Video resumes give candidates the opportunity to: 

  • highlight their best qualities “in person”
  • demonstrate their experience and qualifications through life experience rather than just work experience

2 More Strategies to Tap Into the Hidden Youth Workforce

Simplifying the hiring process helps employers reach youth workers who are not currently employed or in education streams. 

1. Simplify the Screening Process

  • Is a grade 12/high school diploma completely necessary for the job or could you also hire a successful candidate with equivalent life experience?
  • Focus on the core competencies of the job, the ones that you can’t do without, when advertising positions. When employers focus too much on the “ideal” candidate, that’s intimidating for even adults with relevant education and experience. Youth candidates may be self-rejecting before you even get a chance to meet them. 
  • Reach out to high schools and alternative schools to develop relationships and a presence there. Create tools like videos of the workplace and related jobs that can be used in curriculum. The workforce could come to you pre-screened, already knowing about the workplace and job opportunities.
  • Don’t screen out young people with criminal records. Research shows that giving youth with criminal records opportunities increases loyalty and reduces recidivism rates

2. Interviews Are About Best Fit, Not Quizzing Candidates

  • Use activity based screening instead of traditional interview questions.
  • Consider a conversation based interview rather than a formal Q&A.
  • Offer working interviews instead of traditional ones.
  • Focus on the actions taken by youth to overcome their life circumstances rather than the actual circumstances in interviews. Actions speak louder than words. 

Recruitment Is Nothing Without Retention

Hopefully, by using some or all of these recruitment techniques eastern Ontario employers will have access to an as yet untapped workforce pool. 

Give new employees the opportunity to grow with upskilling and reskilling programs, and other employee retention strategies, too. Investment in training increases loyalty among employees and directly benefits the business. 

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External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.


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