If you’re not using Instagram for recruiting, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to promote your employer brand. Like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, Instagram should be a part of your social recruiting strategy, but you have to think of Instagram a bit differently than the other platforms.
I was part of a project last year to revamp every aspect of talent acquisition. One of those sub projects was focused on sharpening the social recruiting strategy for each social media platform. Sound exciting, right? It was.
I was excited to finally use Instagram for recruiting. Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform with 700 million monthly active users.
Users aren’t just following their friends either, 53% of Instagram users follow brands… and that number continues to grow. A company page, for example, is a brand. With that number of engaged potential employees, your company should absolutely use Instagram for recruiting.
Going back to the social recruiting project I was on, when I suggested Instagram the idea was met with lukewarm interest and was finally shelved to focus on LinkedIn and Facebook instead.
“We can’t recruit candidates on Instagram”
Was the reason, and to some extent, this is true… at least not the way we’re used to recruiting candidates on other social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.
To be fair, there’s one clear challenge when you use Instagram for recruiting
There’s no clickable call to action
Meaning that you can’t post a picture of your awesome job description and include a link in that post to the actual job posting on your equally awesome career site like you would on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
The only way around it is to change the main link on your profile biography and write something like “link in bio”. Honestly thought, you will tire of this quickly because it just isn’t sustainable to update your bio link constantly. Nor is it effective.
This is when most talent acquisition leaders throw their hands up and say “we can’t recruit on Instagram, so let’s focus elsewhere”. And that’s a lost opportunity.
To use Instagram for recruiting, you have to change your mindset completely.
The best way to use Instagram for recruiting is by creating brand awareness
Instagram is possibly one of the best things that ever happened to employer branding. It’s the best social media platform to visually amplify your brand. What better way to show proof that you’re really what your employer brand is all about.
Here’s another benefit – when people follow your company on Instagram, they stick around even when they’re not actively looking for a job. So you continue to activate your employer brand – something that will come in handy in the future or when they talk about your employer brand with others.
Companies who get that its all about employer branding and are killing it on Instagram
Here’s how to create an Instagram recruiting strategy that works
Use high quality photos
Not stock photos, but actual employees who love what they do with your company. This doesn’t mean you have to get people professional cameras. Most smartphone photos are great these days. The key is to capture what life at your company is all about.
On Instagram, your photos are your content.
Grow your audience organically
Remember what I said above about people sticking around even when they’re happy with their current employer? The reason they stick around is because an organic audience is often highly engaged. It takes time to grow your Instagram community, but stay consistent and it will grow.
Cross promote by letting your existing audience on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn know that you have great content on Instagram as well.
Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are the way to engage with others on Instagram. Find relevant hashtags and use them on your posts.
You should also create a hashtag of your own and encourage your employees to use it. After all, they’re your biggest brand ambassadors. You can then repost their photos on your corporate account (you can give them credit using the repost app).
By doing this, you not only show that employees are engaged, but you also get content for your corporate Instagram account.
It’s called social media for a reason. Respond to comments and questions. When you’re engaged, so is your audience. You should also leave comments on others’ page to show that you venture out of your page and engage.
And that issue of no clickable call to action… you can have it, but you gotta pay
If you’re already on Instagram (and I hope you are), you have probably noticed sponsored posts lately. Instagram now allows you to sponsor a post where you can include a clickable call to action (AKA a link).
Like Facebook, Instagram allows you to narrow down the audience for your sponsored post. You have to know your target audience really well to do this. For example, if your sponsored post is about your company’s amazing maternity leave benefit, you know that you gave to narrow your audience to women (typically the ones to care more about maternity benefits) in a certain age group.
If you don’t know your audience well enough to segment it this way, then it’s best to save your recruiting budget and hold off on sponsoring a post.
You can (and should) use Instagram for recruiting from an employer branding and brand awareness perspective, which is instrumental to your talent acquisition strategy.