How to use Instagram as part of your recruitment strategy

Rachel Hill
Rachel Hill

While businesses and recruiters commonly use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote vacancies, you could be missing out on great candidates by not utilising the power of Instagram. Believe it or not, Instagram’s visual appeal could help you attract both passive and active candidates and help with your employer branding.

With over 400 million active users, Instagram is no joke. It attracts 53% of young adults, aged 18-29, 49% of whom use Instagram on a daily basis. If your business is looking to recruit the next generation of millennials, Instagram is the place to start.

Even if millennials are not your target market, Instagram is still a highly effective recruitment platform that attracts all ages. In the increasing battle for attention, Instagram’s visual format enables users to consume information fast. Convinced? Then let’s discuss how you can implement Instagram into your recruiting strategy.

Show your company culture

Many of you might think that setting up an Instagram account and posting ‘we are hiring’ photos will engage talent: wrong. To attract the initial attention of Instagram users, you need to show them what day-to-day life is like at your company. Instagram is a fun platform, so don’t take yourself too seriously.

So what kind of photos or 15 second videos should be in your content strategy?

People: New starters, celebrations, achievements, employee stories
Environment: Office space, comfy couches, the coffee machine
Events: Charity efforts, team outings, tutorials, conferences

You’re probably wondering why you need to do any of this when you just want to recruit. The point is that you want people to look at your company culture and imagine what it is like working there. Good quality photos and videos attract potential candidates and build brand trust. So when the time eventually comes to post a ‘we are hiring’ photo, you will have already built up a large brand following and talent pool.

An example of a business who shows off their company culture in a great way is the Happy Pear. The food business based in Greystones have built up a fantastic presence on Instagram showing pictures of Sunday swims, delicious food and the scenery of their local area. Their attractive company culture no doubt helps with their recruitment needs!

Instagram

Decide on what hashtags to use

Deciding what hashtags to use on Instagram is another critical part of your content strategy. If you already have a brand hashtag on other social media platforms, it is important to include this to create brand consistency. In order to attract your desired candidates, you will need to use other strategic hashtags.

If you want candidates to find your company, placing relevant hashtags around posts will help. People looking for a job will often search for hashtags such as #hiring #newjobs and #joinourteam, for example. Remember to place your location in all posts so potential candidates know where the job is based.

If you decide to actively search for candidates, you must think of what hashtags job seekers use on their own posts. These people will often use hashtags such as #hireme and #jobhunting. With Instagram’s direct message feature, it is easier than ever to message potential candidates.

One company that uses great recruitment hashtags is Cisco. Their multiple hashtags target both active and passive candidates, as well as incorporating their brand beliefs and location. With the option to add as many hashtags as you like, make use of them!

Instagram

Getting employees involved on Instagram

Once you have a steady brand following and consistent hiring process in place, it may be a good idea to get employees involved. Endorsements from a third party are often deemed more credible and help spread your talent pool even further. Building employee involvement on social media also increases feelings of pride and happiness at work.

To encourage employees to post about your business on social media, you must take a direct and indirect approach. Firstly, all employees must be aware of the brand values, hashtags and guidelines. How do you do this? Set up regular tutorials with staff to make them aware of all brand issues and how they can help promote it on their own platforms.

An indirect way of getting employees involved is to place social media links and hashtags on any corporate office material. Employees may not know the business has an Instagram page and these materials may encourage them to interact with it. Other ways of getting employees involved include holding work events with particular hashtags, posting team appreciation photos and offering rewards for any social media efforts.

The easiest way to ensure employee involvement is to create a happy company culture in the first place. Unhappy employees won’t post photos on social media no matter what efforts you make. When satisfied employees post work photos, possible candidates in their network are likely to be attracted by these sincere endorsements and apply.

To conclude..

While Instagram wasn’t specifically built for recruitment, it is a unique way to garner more candidates. The above tips will help you capture and attract great candidates, as well as stand out from the crowd. Happy hiring!

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