How to Use Instagram to Recruit Young Professionals

By Molly Powers

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Successful recruiters know that finding top candidates isn’t just about using the same tried and true methods — it’s also about using new tools and trends to find new ways to recruit faster and more accurately. Nowhere is this more true than in social media, where trends can change seemingly overnight.

While platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can still be leveraged to find candidates, one of the newer platforms often goes overlooked: Instagram.

With 1 billion users as of June 2018, Instagram is widely considered the social media platform of choice among teens and young professionals. Instagram is also popular with companies — its visual format makes it easy to highlight a product or service and build a positive feeling around a brand. While users do connect with friends and family on Instagram, they are just as likely to use the platform for fashion and social cues, design inspiration, and idea generation.

Additionally, Instagram has the highest engagement of any social network — people are 10 times more likely to engage with a brand on Instagram than Facebook, 54 times more likely than Pinterest, and 84 times more likely than Twitter. In fact, 80% of Instagram’s users follow at least one brand or business on the platform, and at least 30% of users have made a purchase based on seeing a product or service on Instagram.

With this amount of engagement, it’s essential that recruiters consider the platform as part of their overall social media recruitment strategy.

So how do recruiters make the most of Instagram?

Find your niche

The first step to success with Instagram is to figure out who your audience is. Start out by considering your recruiting specialty. Is it marketers? Healthcare professionals? Finance? When setting up your account and crafting your posts, think about what a person in that field is looking for and how you can talk to them. It may help you to search through hashtags or look at influencers in your niche to see what they are talking about.  

It can help to imagine your ideal candidate. What might he or she be looking for? Understanding who your audience is will help you build a profile that speaks directly to that audience.

Invest in your content and bio

Unlike other social media channels, Instagram uses pictures and art to tell a story. Having a specific look and feel to your feed is important to create consistency around you/your brand. Look at the look and phrasing of the content that others in your field are using. Is there specific wording or images that seem to get high engagement? This might give you a jumping off point for what might work for you. You may also choose to invest in a photo editing app like VSCO or Snapseed to make sure all your content has the same look and feel.

When creating your bio, make it easy for those visiting your profile to get in touch with you. Make sure to include the following: your name, your location and specialty, one thing you want your followers to know about you, and how interested candidates can contact you.

Engage, engage, engage

One of the biggest mistakes recruiters make with Instagram is assuming that simply having one is enough. However, just posting pictures into a void isn’t enough – you have to engage with others and be engaging yourself.

While you don’t necessarily need to have the most artistic feed, invest time to make your images look good, and don’t rely on stock imagery. Authenticity matters with Instagram, so the more unique you make your posts, the better. This also goes for the captions. People can sense when a caption is too “sales-y” so be straightforward to attract the right candidates. Experiment with stories, story highlights, and new tools like IGTV to add a layer of transparency.

As a recruiter, you’re used to actively pursuing candidates and interacting with them. Instagram isn’t any different. You’ll need to connect with others in order to build your reach and network. On Instagram this takes the form of commenting on other posts in your niche, watching and commenting on other people’s stories, and liking other posts. Instagram’s algorithm ranks your posts higher when you interact with other people’s posts, so the more you engage with others, the more others will see what you’re posting.

Final Thoughts

Instagram can be an incredible tool in your social media recruiting strategy if you’re able to take advantage of its features and invest some time to be unique and engaging. Remember, your Instagram feed is essentially a portfolio of you and your business, so create a feed and posts that showcase the great experience a candidate could have with you.

About the Author:

Molly Powers is the Editorial Manager at Relode, a Nashville-based healthcare recruiting platform that uses the power of crowdsourcing to connect healthcare professionals to jobs. When she’s not writing about how recruiters can advance their careers, she’s spending time outside, exploring the city with friends, or perfecting the perfect paleo brownie recipe.

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