How You Can Use Instagram for Recruiting

By Maren Hogan

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When the industry started buzzing about using Instagram for recruitment, I was skeptical. As a B2B marketer, it's hard getting budget, and while photos can be highly engaging, I wasn't sure users would follow brands. Sure, really big brands could pull this off, but staffing agencies and small businesses? Tiny agencies and middle of the road manufacturers? Not a chance. 

But as usual, I was a wee bit off in my assumptions. Today, as Instagram talks about 60-second video options for brands, it’s a much easier leap from fun little photo app on my phone, to real life employer branding tool. So how can you make it work for you?

Edit Your Videos.

No one is expecting your videos to look like Scorcese directed them, but you do need to make sure that background noise, annoying shakiness and any other distractions are edited out. Plus if you’re using employees in your videos (which we think you should!) make sure you get their first name or twitter handle up there so people can get a sense for who they are and where they work within your company. Posts that include another handle get 56% more engagement. Video editing apps (built for your phone, as is Instagram) can help you take your videos from something only your mother would love, to great job ads.

Recycle Content.

If you already have great video content on Youtube, there are apps that can help you grab small snippets and smoosh them together. Around 29% of marketers reuse and repurpose content. If you have some company highlights (say some statistics about your industry or company) or an evergreen requirement, those are great first videos to build! (hint: evergreen content is anything people will read today, tomorrow and forever.)

Don't Start Without A Plan.

If you find yourself a year from now with ONE video, you did not have a plan. Instagram is not rocket science. Here are some ideas to get you started. Create a pre and post-roll and then sign up at least five employees to give you insight. If you’re not ready to start with videos, try pictures and experiment with a list of your top five hashtags. Here’s a great place from which to pull them. Using hashtags can create more than 12% increase in engagement. Also, if your plan is to post stock photography next to open job requirements, abort.

Casual and Sloppy Are Two Different Things.

If you are casual, that means your brand is approachable, it helps to educate job seekers and will assist anyone looking for a job (even if it’s not at your company). That doesn’t mean you can throw up rasterized logos, unedited videos and off-brand posts. Ayelet Golz says, “The biggest mistake businesses or brands make is posting visuals on their Instagram profile that they have not created. It makes the profile look less genuine and less legitimate.” You are still representing your brand, so ping a friend from the marketing department to make sure you know what’s allowed and what isn’t.

Play Piggyback.

Speaking of the marketing department, if you’re concerned about the amount of content you have for employer branding all on its own (and many small companies may be), piggyback on your marketing department’s Instagram game, if they’ll let you. Pick one day a week (or on the weekend, since many job seekers may be paying attention then and engagement increases by 9%) and build out weekly posts and videos. This gives you a chance to “beta” test your ideas before asking for full-fledged support around visual branding of jobs.

Show Your True Colors

Last week, we signed a client based solely on our Insta game, it’s that strong. One of the reasons is that we’re real. Whether we’re looking smokin’ or sort of in sweats (truth) we show what it’s like to work here. When people see Josh cycling away on the bike desk or our content team on a walk under umbrellas, those are genuine glimpses into what it’s like to work at Red Branch. Instagram posts with faces in it get 38% more likes. If you’re pretending in any way, people will see that. So don’t. Some ideas to show your true colors?

  • Behind the scenes jobs
  • What happens when you get a resume
  • Quick interviews with “what you love about your job”
  • Top tips for job seekers in a specific industry/department
  • Meet the team videos, where everyone intros themselves
  • Tours of your office or workspace
  • Visual representations of your job

Don't Forget the CTA.

Look, this social media stuff is fun and all, but we’re really here to hire the right people for our organization. If you’re creating consistent, honest content around your company, then you should have somewhere for these eager job seekers to go when they’ve decided this is an opportunity they want to pursue. If you don’t, you’ve failed candidate experience 101 before you even started. Add a link to your profile or better yet, spring for a sponsored post! Users are 2.5 times more likely to click on an ad on Instagram than any other social media platform.

Share and Share Alike.

Okay so not everyone is a fan of the Instagram and Facebook double share, but I think it’s there for a reason. If you find that your numbers go way down, then turn it off. But if you have a Facebook careers tab or solid presence there, the integration makes sense. In fact, 54% of brands already do this. If you’re planning to share on Twitter, make sure you do so natively or use an app that will allow your picture to show up in users’ stream rather than just as a link.

About Maren Hogan:

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer, writer and business builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. Founder and CEO of Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and outsourcing and thought leadership to HR and Recruiting Technology and Services organizations internationally, Hogan is a consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques. She has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies and been a thought leader in the global recruitment and talent space. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and The Red Branch Media Blog.


About the company...

At Social Hire, we don't just do social.

Our digital marketing managers are the wizards that can give you the insight you need to develop your business. Have you had enough of making complex personnel choices that don't work well for your digital presence?

We're an organisation that helps our clients boost their social media marketing by offering social media marketing on a monthly basis.

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