Lots of companies find recruiting new talent quite difficult and spend a lot of budget on recruiting strategies, but there is one thing that most of them overlook… A channel where you can reach 1 billion people worldwide! And you know what? 50% of those 1 billion people are actively scrolling on the platform every day. Nope, I’m not talking about LinkedIn, I’m talking about Instagram. Freelancers, young professionals, interns, you name it. Maybe your best future employee is using Instagram right now. So what are you waiting for? I’m going to spill the beans and tell you exactly how to use Instagram efficiently for recruitment. On top of that, I have some examples lined up to give you the right motivation and inspiration. Keep on scrolling!

Facts speak louder than assumptions

First of all, don’t let assumptions get to you. Most common assumptions for not using Instagram in a recruitment strategy are: ‘I don’t use Instagram, so why should my company?’, ‘Instagram is for leisure and friends, not business’ or ‘I don’t think my target audience is on Instagram’. Well, ok. That’s someone’s opinion, but what are the stats saying? Start doing research, because you might miss out on a great opportunity to reach your target audience if you don’t do a fact check. Did you know that…

…64% of 18-29-year-olds use Instagram?
…80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram?
…1 out of 3 of the most viewed Stories are from businesses?

Sounds interesting, right? There is so much more information out there. Check Instagram usage on websites like HootsuiteSprout Social and Statista. Also, don’t forget to ask how your friends and colleagues are using Instagram. You want to know what they are looking for in an organization and when they stop scrolling their feed to take a closer look at a post. You might be surprised…

Tip: Use Instagram’s search bar to check how many updates are out there on certain subjects to see if your target audience is actively using the platform to find jobs.

 

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One or two Instagram accounts?

If you are convinced by facts that Instagram might be a powerful channel for your company to recruit new talent, then it’s time for the next step. Let’s analyse how you currently use your Instagram business account (if you have one), and if it’s better to create a second Instagram account for recruitment. If you are already actively creating and posting content with a solid strategy for your business account, it might be confusing for your followers to share recruitment content on the same account as well, especially for big companies. It could be more powerful to create a separate Instagram account for jobs. Later in this article, I’ll provide examples of other companies doing exactly that.

Tip: make sure to put time and effort into your recruitment strategy for Instagram, it has to come alive and engage with your future employees.

Keep it real and authentic

Ever heard of employer branding? According to Wikipedia, it means:

‘‘Employer brand describes an employer’s reputation as a place to work, and their employee value proposition, as opposed to the more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers.’’

Employer branding is a crucial part of your recruitment strategy. Make sure that you create content that fits your companies’ culture. Therefore the content must be authentic. Limit the use of stock photos and create real content. It helps when you select a group of colleagues – who don’t mind being published on the company’s Instagram account – to create content with on a regular basis. Choose people your future employees can relate to. Sharing real stories and experiences. That’s how you will attract new talent.

Build trust and connect

To keep your content real and trustworthy you should mix staged photos with spontaneous moments in the office – these moments are the best. Don’t hesitate to ask colleagues to help you with content by capturing those spontaneous moments on camera and send it to you. It’s understandable that you can’t be everywhere at the right time. So a little bit of help is more than welcome. Your colleagues are the brand, let them live it. But keep in mind that they need your help as well. Provide them a content format and brief them properly about what you expect them to do. Even a vlog training or personal branding workshop is worth considering. This will get you halfway, but to really connect with your target audience you need to create candidate personas. Find out what their wants, needs, and frustrations are, and cater to those.

Make your account appealing and engaging

All the above is of big importance, but don’t forget to pay attention to the look and feel of your Instagram account too. There are lots of possibilities to enhance your account. Here are 4 tips to do so:

Tip 1: make the most of your bio description
A good bio explains what your business is, what you do and includes a call-to-action describing what you want your followers to do. Keep your goal always in mind: attracting new talent. Since there is only room for 150 characters in the bio, keep your copy direct and to the point. Use the name field to describe your business with the most important keywords: ‘DPDK Digital Agency’, or partly to introduce what you are intending with this Instagram account: ‘DPDK jobs’. It’s important to consider what your target audience is looking for and how you can present relevant content to them. After defining what to put in your name field, think of a matching @username and write catchy copy including a branded #hashtag for your bio. Make sure to add a link to the job section and a call-to-action above the link in your bio, for example, ‘Join our team’. If it’s not contradicting with your tone-of-voice and company culture, also include the use of emojis. They cheer up and clarify your bio description. The last important part is the highlights. Create relevant categories for your highlights and save Stories which you want to remain visible. That way people can see what you’ve done in the past, for example, a celebration, event, drinks, etc.

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Tip: Imagine your Instagram account as your website and display all the important information to appeal and engage.

Tip 2: follow your colleagues
By following your colleagues you’ll get access to authentic content which you can use to repost. Don’t be afraid to engage with them and bring the Instagram account to life. That way your followers will get a good impression of the company’s culture. Besides that, you are able to see what kind of content captures the attention of your colleagues and gain insights that can add great value to your content strategy.

Tip 3: don’t spam with jobs and use hashtags
It’s obvious that you want to post new jobs when you are using Instagram for recruitment. But it’s not a job board. Think of original and creative ways to post a job. In the search for a backend developer for DPDK, together with my talented colleagues I’ve created an animated post with code saying ‘If you like PHP, code and fun, join our team’.

It’s very important to add a call-to-action to your post and use relevant hashtags, e.g. #nowhiring #jobopening #careers, but also job titles like #backenddeveloper #projectmanager or #copywriter.

Tip 4: themes and consistency
If you post valuable content that works for your target audience, your Instagram feed doesn’t have to look spotless. A finance company is not a creative agency, there is no need for a perfect-looking designer feed. Your Instagram account should be to the point, consistent and inviting. You are able to accomplish that by using one filter for all of your posts (lower the intensity to 30%), pick a light, colorful or a dark style (depends on the environment where most of the content is created), plan your content ahead with tools like Preview or Later and create recurring themes e.g. say hi to a new employee, photos of the surroundings and the office, cool events, office dogs, etc. This will definitely get you on the right track to build a solid and appealing recruitment strategy.

Tip: Use apps like AfterlightCanvaHUJI and VSCO to enhance your content and Instagram Stories.

Inspirational examples of other companies

Other companies are already successfully using Instagram as a recruitment channel, here are some inspirational examples:

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Our CRM partner is using a separate Instagram account for recruiting where they only focus on content for careers. If we scroll through the posts we can see successes like Best Workplace for Women, team events, kid’s days, personal inspirational stories of employees and much more. Check out @salesforcejobs on Instagram and get inspired.

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@starbucksjobs is another good example of a separate Instagram account as a recruitment channel. It couldn’t be more clear that on this account you’ll find all the info regarding jobs, employees, events, women empowerment, caring work environment and much more – everything you want to know to be convinced to start your career at Starbucks.

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Marriott named their Instagram account for social recruitment @marriottcareers instead of using the word ‘jobs’ like in the previous examples, because ‘careers’ is more suiting for the brand personality and their tone-of-voice. Marriott posts content to celebrate their employees’ successes, anniversaries, woman empowerment (they even have their own branded hashtag for it #WomenOfMarriott), specialties of the employees and much more to get inspired by.

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Microsoft is a huge company with multiple Instagram accounts to showcase a selection of their activities. One of them is recruitment: @microsoftlife. This account offers a sneak peek behind the scenes, to give future employees an impression of what life at Microsoft is all about. A branded hashtag #MicrosoftLife is also included in the bio, it takes you to all kinds of different content posted by Microsoft and their employees about life at Microsoft.

Analyze how other companies approach recruitment on Instagram, and you will see that there is no need to be afraid to post the successes of your company, it attracts new talent. But do it subtly. Remember that Instagram is a platform that is meant to be fun and inspirational. Make sure that you adjust your social recruitment strategy to that. Happy hunting!

This article was originally published on dpdk.com

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If you need any help with creating a content strategy or digital content, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Freelance creative Aksana Mikhalap