Sourcing the silver surfer via social media

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04 Sep 2017

Sourcing the silver surfer via social media

When it comes to social media recruitment, employers are falling over themselves to attract young jobseekers. But with an ageing workforce and social media increasingly reaching across all demographics, make sure your campaign doesn’t exclude older candidates.

By 2039, British workers won’t be able to draw their pension until they’re 68, and the public sector workforce already reflects a rising age profile, not least due to competitive pension provision. With such a long wait for the proverbial gold watch, they’ll also be looking for new jobs much later into their careers. People now expected to have 17 different employers in their lifetime and five separate careers, so the concept of a “job for life” is long dead.

Recruiters initially struggled to keep up with youth-friendly channels, but attraction via the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and even “dark social” messaging apps like WhatsApp are becoming commonplace in the battle to source millennials and Gen Z-ers. However, the older retirement age means not only will the average age of the workforce increase, but employers will need to compete for older workers, especially those with scarce skills.

If we were aiming to attract sexagenarian candidates today, we might conservatively suggest LinkedIn and Facebook, with a tentative few Tweets. But to do so would underestimate and patronise silver surfers. Certainly retired people’s website Just doesn’t direct its readers towards “age appropriate” channels, giving a run-down of all the major available options.

According to a recent Telegraph article, some 48 per cent on online baby boomers aged 65 to 74 now have a social media profile, as do 41 per cent of over-75s, up from 19 per cent a year ago. So where are these social seniors hanging out?

Of the 50-64 age group, 72% are on Facebook, 28% on Pinterest, 24% on LinkedIn, 21% on Twitter, 18% on Instagram. Take that up to people aged 65+ and 62% are on Facebook, 20% on LinkedIn, 16% on Pinterest,10% on Twitter and 8% on Instagram.

Snapchat has yet to catch on with the more mature market: only 2% of users are over 55.

The first batch of people affected by the higher new retirement age are now 46, and many of them will have run the gamut of social media platforms from MySpace onwards, and certainly aren’t beyond adopting more. Ensuring your social media recruitment strategy engages the older age group as well as those new to the marketplace isn’t just an inclusivity box-ticking exercise, it’s essential to stay ahead of the competition.

Berenice Baker

Social Media Manager at Penna