Social Recruitment Strategy: Three Companies to Learn From - Chipotle

By Lindsay Shoemake, JWT INSIDE Account Coordinator

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Last time we discussed ANN INC.’s dynamic and identity-driven social recruitment strategy; now, we’re venturing into the spicy social recruitment realm of Chipotle, famed fast-casual restaurant brand and down-home burrito joint.

Chipotle Careers’ recruitment strategy is just as straightforward as its food. With consistent messaging that encourages job seekers to “start your career rolling” and “join Chipotle’s people culture,” the brand’s social recruitment strategy hinges on exactly what matters most in the hiring process – the people.

Let’s take a closer look and explore how Chipotle Careers expertly leverages its social strategy – I had the unique opportunity to chat with the brand’s Recruitment Communications lead via email, who shared valuable insights on how to attract, retain and grow the best talent for its growing restaurant base and corporate positions.

Every career has a story.
With one visit to Chipotle Careers’ recruitment site, it’s evident that the people are the most important part of the company. The site illustrates this in its “Real Stories” section, which features the unique success stories of restaurant associates who have climbed the ranks of the company. This page is dynamic in that it is completely reflective of Chipotle’s unique and diverse “people culture.”

“Chipotle has an amazing people culture built on hiring top performing employees, developing and empowering them to deliver an exceptional dining experience for our customers,” Chipotle Recruitment Communications Specialist Jen Gamarano said. “Much of our employment brand strategy is built around conveying that message to job seekers by allowing our employees to share their stories. We are not only in the food business, we are in the business of changing people’s lives for the better and social media is a great platform for us to deliver that message.”

Another added value of the site? It allows applicants to track the status of their employment applications, keeping them in the loop on every step of the hiring process.


Get the conversation flowing organically.
Chipotle has long been hailed as a leader in creative social media endeavors (remember when they hacked their own Twitter account in 2013?), and the brand’s recruitment-specific Twitter account, @ChipotleJobs, follows suit. @ChipotleJobs is an expert social listener and makes an active effort to follow up with each of its applicants who mention the account – fostering a valuable brand-employer connection early in the hiring game.

“Social media is a great way for us to reach an audience of passive candidates that otherwise would not be actively searching for or applying for a new job,” Gamarano said. “It has provided us with an opportunity to engage directly with candidates to answer questions they might have before applying or during the interview process and has proven to be a great resource for generating employee referrals.”


 In addition, the Twitter account consistently implements relevant and location-specific hashtags, including #Chipotle, #recruiters, #quality and more. As if all of these engagement tactics weren’t enough, compelling and recruitment-specific graphics are also used on Twitter to direct applicants to Chipotle’s careers website.

How would Chipotle’s recruitment team describe its people culture in 140 characters or less? “A people culture as unique and incredible as your burrito. #unburritableworkplace,” according to Gamarano.

Note: while writing this post I tweeted @ChipotleTweets and @ChipotleJobs, and they fired back a signature snarky @reply within minutes. Talk about great social media management!

Giving a face to corporate is a priority.
At Chipotle, transparency between its corporate and restaurant employees is valued and highly encouraged. Chipotle Careers’ Facebook account takes advantage of its timeline in a smart way, publishing mini-interviews with company thought-leaders and restaurant employees alike. In addition, the account’s timeline is consistently updated in real-time as new positions open, which is a feat in and of itself – a new Chipotle restaurant opens every two days in the U.S.!


You’ll know what it’s like working at Chipotle before your first day.
Chipotle Careers’ YouTube channel is a visual storyboard mecca for potential hires. The account’s “A Day in the Life” video paints an enticing narrative of what it’s like working in a Chipotle restaurant, and also educates its viewers on the brand’s business model and future management opportunities. A 2-minute video packs a punch with valuable insights and a human connection – isn’t social media all about connections, anyway? Kudos, Chipotle. 

Other notable Chipotle social media accounts include their Instagram and Pinterest; although they don’t speak directly to recruitment, both are excellent visual tools for engagement and education on the brand. Keep up with Chipotle’s social recruitment endeavors here:

- Careers website
- Twitter
- Facebook
- YouTube

Tune in next week for the third and final part of the “Social Recruitment Strategy: Three Companies to Learn From” series.  

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