The Most Extensive Guide to Instagram Recruiting

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Karthik Subramanian

Karthik Subramanian

08th Oct, 2020

You’re probably thinking, “What? Instagram as a recruiting tool? Am I reading this correctly?

Yes, you read that correctly. Like Bob Dylan’s famous song “The times they are a-changin,” we live in an era where the recruiting journey can begin anywhere. It could be during a subway ride, at a conference, a bar, or even in an elevator!

So, don’t wait until the recruiting rules change. Instead, why not be the recruiter who changes the rules?

Waiting-for-Recruiting-Rule-Changes-Nurturebox

 

Why should you recruit on Instagram?

I’m still not convinced. Do people really use Instagram for recruiting?” you ask.

Okay, we understand. Some hard truths take a bit of convincing. So, here are 7 reasons why Instagram is an awesome social media platform for recruiting.

Reasons-to-recruit-on-Instagram-3-NurtureBox

 

There is enough evidence that it is one of the most popular social media platforms, especially amongst the younger generation. So, recruiters need to ensure that they’re using it in the right way to attract top talent.

 

Searching for profiles on Instagram

We know every recruiter is looking for that one trick to source profiles on Instagram. So, here we go!

The best thing about searching for profiles on Instagram is that you do not have to wade through hundreds of profiles looking for that ideal candidate. Instead, use Google’s X-ray search to zero in on profiles.

Here’s how you do it.

Let us assume you’re looking for web designers. On your internet browser, type the following Boolean search string: Site:instagram.com (“Web Designer”) and hit ‘go.’

Sourcing-candidate-profiles-on-Instagram-NurtureBox

 

The above query returns Instagram profiles which have the key phrase ‘web designer’ in them. But, this search string is still quite broad.

So, why not make it a little more narrow by adding the location parameter? In this case, the search string will be Site:instagram.com (“Web Designer”) (“Toronto”). The earlier search string would have given you results from all over Instagram, which is too generic. But, this query gives you web designers in Toronto.

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Instagram is a maze, and if you don’t know your way around it, you can get lost in it.

Now, let us see how leading companies across the globe are putting Instagram for recruiting.

 

17 Tips to use Instagram for recruiting without spending a dime!

We went around looking for companies that are using Instagram for recruiting.  And, we’ll admit it – we are thrifty ourselves. So, we were looking for companies that were deploying innovative strategies to engage with their audience.

While there were a lot of examples, we narrowed it down to 19 global companies who’re crushing it. Here is a list of 17 tips that you can readily embed into your social media recruiting strategy.

Let us dive right in.

1. Showcase your employees at work

One of the most important principles of engaging with candidates on Instagram is to let your employees do the talking. People looking to join large organizations often look to the employees for inspiration. So, why not make your employees as brand ambassadors?

Hilton Hotels and Resorts does it quite well. They pick a picture of their employees at work in liveried workwear and explain their role, place of work, etc. This is also a good way to encourage employees to give off their best.

View this post on Instagram

For all artists, inspiration can come from many different places, and for Samantha Martinez, @hiltonmexicocityreforma’s award-winning pastry chef, it’s Mexico—her home and heritage.👩🏻‍🍳 To celebrate #hispanicheritagemonth, Samantha recently shared a taste of her culinary process with us, including the indigenous ingredients she loves using, her many cultural inspirations and more. Check out her story at the link in our bio. 🍰 🇲🇽 “The pride I feel for my country, for the traditions, flavors, colors and stories that represent us, I'm always aiming to capture that in many of my creations. I want to show guests from other countries the beauty of Mexico through flavors.” #wearehilton *Photo taken before COVID-19

A post shared by Hilton Careers (@hiltoncareers) on

 

Besides, it is like putting a face to your company to the outside world which hardly knows what is happening inside. After all, how many customers would even get to see the chef who prepares the awesome food behind the scenes?

CARFAX, the Canadian vehicle history provider, uses its Instagram careers profile to showcase its employees working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their post shows how employees are maintaining a work-life balance. This gives a personal touch to their efforts and helps external candidates know the different personalities in the company.

 

2. Explain why your workplace is fun

People want to work hard. At the same time, they want to enjoy it. Isn’t that good enough reason to have them vouch for it? Such gestures help build goodwill and trust in the eyes of the external people.

Mars, the Tacoma, Washington-based chocolate manufacturer, has put up videos of how graduates have a rewarding and fun experience working for the company. The company’s Leadership Experience program encourages graduates with a specialist degree to take up a lead role in a business function. Having employees speak about such company-wide initiatives helps spread the word around quickly.

 

3. Get your employees to host webinars

The more you encourage your employees to speak for your company, the better for your brand. It is even better if you focus on topics around preparing for interviews at your company/industry, career planning, and employer expectations. So, having your employees speak to the external audience via YouTube videos and webinars helps build your brand.

For example, California-based Amgen has employees speak at webinars on wide-ranging topics such as personal branding, developing skills, etc. They promote it through their Instagram careers page and invite people to sign up for it in advance.

 

4. Show off the biggest projects at your company

Some of your employees might be long-timers working for your company.  They might have a ton of experience to share with aspiring candidates, or they may be working on high-profile projects. It pays well to interview them and publish them on your website. More importantly, use Instagram to attract the audience in a creative way.

Stuttgart-based Daimler publishes employee interviews on their careers webpage. They use Instagram to smartly introduce these employees and attract readers’ attention to their interviews. After all, who wouldn’t want to be a part of a team that is building the future of transport?

View this post on Instagram

“Right from the first day I felt I belonged, and developed a great loyalty to the Mercedes star. Daniel has been responsible for "Urban Mobility Solutions" at Mercedes-Benz AG for a year now. This is where he brings together specialist departments at Daimler that concern themselves with urban mobility to jointly exchange information and views with cities and municipalities. In a personal conversation, French-born Daniel Deparis tells us about his career to date and what colors have to do with his work at Daimler. Read the full interview here: http://d.ai/interview_daniel #linkinbio #urban #mobility #solutions #workatdaimler #daimlercareer #inforchange #gamechanger #thisisdaimler #daimler #daimlerag #automotive #cars #car #auto #mercedes #mercedesbenz #urbanmobility

A post shared by Daimler Career (@daimlercareer) on

 

5. Explain the learning opportunities

A lot of candidates look forward to the opportunity to learn at their workplace and rate it higher than other perks. In fact, it works both ways – employees want to learn, while companies want skilled employees.

That’s why it is important to showcase the learning opportunities within a company. Pepsico‘s Instagram post by an employee explains the different learning opportunities and how it has helped her grow.

 

6. Show a day in the life of an employee

One way of encouraging interest amongst external candidates for your company is to show a day in the life of an employee. All that it takes is to select an employee and have them narrate their typical workday. Their monologue can serve as copy for your Instagram post.

Denmark’s Danske Bank uses its Instagram careers page to weave in its sustainability efforts and how an employee plays a key role in it. They choose the ideal employees carefully because they are brand ambassadors and more than 5,000 people look up to them.

View this post on Instagram

Hi everybody! My name is Martin Slipsager Frandsen, and in the coming week – I will bring you along to see my life at Danske Bank with a big emphasis on how we work with sustainability! I joined Danske in 2016, where I am now part of the Fundamental Equities Team. I co-lead our flagship global sustainable equity strategy: Global Sustainable Future, where we invest in the companies that lead and benefit from the transition towards a sustainable future based on the UN Sustainability Development Goals 🇺🇳 I am a Senior Portfolio Manager and I have been part of developing the strategy from scratch – which has been a great journey! Aside from my work at Danske Bank, I am also a lecturer at Copenhagen Business School, teaching courses in portfolio management and option theory – so for the CBS students, there might be a chance that I have either had or will have you as students at some point. I hope that you will come along to see my life at Danske, and I hope that you will get a better idea of how we work with sustainability in our investments to bring value for society and customers! #danskebank #sustainability #danskebankcareers

A post shared by Danske Bank Employee Stories (@danske_bank_careers) on

 

7. Host a competition

Instagram is about user engagement. One smart way of encouraging user engagement is by inviting candidates to submit an idea, picture, or video.

We liked Pepsico‘s candidate engagement ideas. They invite candidates to spot the next trend in the food and beverage industry, draw up a marketing strategy, and submit it. They reward winning candidates to participate in the finals of their “Dare To Do More,” contest, and a job at Pepsico.

Such competitions help them achieve several objectives. They are:

  • Unearth great talent
  • Know the pulse of the consumers (and get to it before their competition does)
  • Serves as a brand-building exercise

 

8. Host a job fair

Some companies need to fill up roles quickly in customer servicing, order fulfillment, shipment, door delivery, etc. So, they host job fairs to recruit talent from local colleges and communities. This gives candidates a good chance to earn a quick buck and experience the company before taking up a full-time role.

The Florida-based supermarket chain, Publix hosts job fairs for temporary and seasonal opportunities. They use Instagram as a recruiting tool to invite applications for store clerks, shopping assistants, etc.

 

They even invite candidates to apply for suitable roles in their warehouses and earn a quick buck during the holidays. Each picture on their Instagram careers page shows happy employees in their working gear and gives off positive vibes.

 

9. Invite store walk-ins

There is no better way to exhibit your work culture than inviting prospective candidates to your store or office. It gives them a first-hand experience of meeting their likely co-workers and interacting with them.

Minnesota-based Best Buy‘s Instagram page invites candidates to walk into their stores for on-the-spot hiring. They ask candidates to send text messages to a mobile number or update their information via an URL. Their posts also give out the hourly wage rate that the company is willing to pay for their work.

 

10. Partner with universities

Some companies prefer hiring directly from campus. It helps them tap the best talent right from the source and nurture employees to become future leaders. The employees get to work on different projects, regions, and business units before ascending into leadership roles.

Siemens does it quite effectively. The company partners with the UK’s leading universities to hire the best engineers. They award the country’s top graduate engineers with the prestigious Sir William Siemens Medal for their efforts at their universities.

 

11. Showcase your company products

If you’re a B2C company, it is easier for you to showcase your products that your customers use. The good thing about it is you might unearth potential candidates within your customer base, who’re interested in pursuing a career in your company. Thus, it is easy to build a familiar connection with them instantly.

Procter & Gamble uses employee testimonials as part of their Instagram recruiting strategy to showcase their innovation around their Oral-B line of toothbrushes. Employees explain how they are partnering with scientists and using technology to improve oral care. Oral-B is a familiar B2C brand, and chances are that aspiring candidates will quickly relate to the product and the company.

 

12. Learn from the big brands

The big boys of the industry test their social media strategy before sticking to what works for them. That is why it is worth following them for your dose of inspiration.

Intel shares its most-recent achievements on its careers page and implores candidates with the caption What have you done today? It inspires candidates to know the cool things happening at Intel and be a part of it someday.

 

13. Learn from the small brands

If there is something to learn from the big companies, there’s something to learn from the small ones too.

Why?

Because they are quite nimble and are quick to jump on social media to share what they’re up to. This is a trait that large companies find it difficult given the layers of corporate hierarchies they need to pass for approval.

For example, Powerfit provides customized fitness training programs in the US. Their Instagram post invites fitness trainers to join their team. They’ve used a picture of their staff wearing branded Powerfit gear in their gyms holding equipment, which is a cool way to invite applications.

Notice their copy that talks about contributing to the community and a phone number to ring up.

 

14. Convey your commitment to diversity

Today, diversity is a key theme for most corporates. It finds a place in corporate annual reports, earnings calls, press releases, CXO speeches, and even at dinner tables. Some customers have diversity as an important necessity before they sign a contract with corporates. In a nutshell, if your workforce is diverse, you’re likely to attract even more diverse talent.

The Irish-domiciled consumer credit reporting company, Experian plc, shows off its commitment to diversity through its Instagram jobs profile. It produces an annual diversity report for the Asia-Pacific region and highlights key numbers from it. Such initiatives appeal to the community at large and the positive word spreads around quickly.

 

15. Communicate your support for a cause

If your company supports the local communities and associates itself with a cause, then the Instagram page must reflect it. This is a great form of building a positive relationship with the community, contributing to it, and drawing from its talent pool.

The Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, shows its commitment to the community’s fight against diabetes. The company boasts of the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team that participates in local races with cycling gear that promotes its objective, “Changing Diabetes.”

 

The American retail company, Target, celebrates the Hispanic Heritage Month by showing its support for the local Latino community. The company employees members of the Latino community in their stores and warehouses. Therefore, they introduce some of these employees via their Instagram careers account.

 

16. Demonstrate that you’re gender-neutral

Today, gender is a spectrum and not a man/woman binary. And, it is an important component of corporate recruiting strategy globally. So, companies realize the importance of using gender-neutral pronouns in their internal and external communication.

The California-based international law firm, Orrick uses its #EachforEqual theme to focus on equal opportunities for their workforce. Their Instagram careers page promotes gender-neutrality by inviting experts to speak about the importance of hiring talent irrespective of gender.

 

17. Celebrate employee successes and milestones

People outside your company are looking for ‘heroes’ inside your company.

Why?

Because it helps them to identify these personalities and know what it takes to be in the ranks of the company. So, why not use employee milestones and achievements and showcase it to the outside world?

For example, the British financial services company, Admiral Group plc, celebrates its employees and their work anniversaries. Their Instagram profile shows a picture of the employee, his/her designation, number of years in service for the company, and an awesome narrative. This serves as a superb morale booster for employees within the company too.

 

 

Hilti, the Liechtenstein-based provider of tools and products for the construction industry showcases the journey of their management associates through different roles and locations of the company.

View this post on Instagram

Congrats to Lyle Li (left hand side of the photo at the top; right hand side of the photo at the bottom)⁠ ⁠ He just completed his Management Associate program. Started his rotation in sales team as our Account Manager then gained exposure in marketing team involved in product launch. His program ended with working on a project with our regional office in North Asia.⁠ ⁠ As a token of appreciation for regional office colleague, he prepared some chocolate to thank for their kind support with this great learning experience.⁠ ⁠ Upon completing his 2-year program, he is now our Business Development Manager of Hilti Hong Kong office. ⁠ ⁠ All the best to his new position. 👏🏻🙂⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ #LifeAtHilti⁠ ⁠ #Hilti #careerdevelopment #rotation #trainee #exposure #support #mentoring #trainings #learning #fasttrack #sales #marketing #businessdevelopment ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠

A post shared by Hilti Asia Careers (@hilticareers_asia) on

 

There are probably many more tips, but these should help you get started on your Instagram recruiting journey.

 

The 10 commandments of Instagram recruiting

From our research of companies using Instagram for recruiting, we noticed there are a few best practices that help reap rich awards. We’ve condensed all of them in this section.

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1. Determine the objective for Instagram recruiting

Why are you recruiting on Instagram? What is your end-objective? Are you looking for candidate resumes or their email ids to start a mail sequence? Get answers to these questions before you draw up the Instagram recruiting strategy.

 

2. Know your audience

Learn about your audience before using Instagram as a recruiting tool. Who is your ideal customer persona? What appeals to them? What type of posts will they find useful? When you know more about your ideal candidates, your posts will perform better.

 

3. Have a content strategy

Don’t use Instagram for recruiting randomly. Have a content strategy and a content calendar in place before posting content. Launching a recruiting campaign without a content strategy is like running a race without wearing your shoes. You’ll hurt yourself and probably never finish the race.

 

4. Have a separate careers handle

Don’t mix your company’s Instagram profile with one for eager candidates. A separate careers profile enables you to create focused content for them such as job applications, employee testimonials, etc.

 

5. Use pictures of your employees

For the love of god, stop using stock images, please! Use pictures of real employees so that they feel special and your external audience can relate to them.

 

6. Complete the Instagram bio

Make sure you include enough information in your Instagram bio about your company, the careers webpage URL, etc. Candidates are likely to check it out after engaging with your Instagram posts. So, let people know where to find more information, how to apply, and where to upload their resumes, etc.

 

7. Use different types of content

Don’t be a one-trick pony when it comes to creating content on Instagram – mix it up. Use videos, pictures, and GIFs to give more variety to your recruiting strategy. This way, your audience has always something new to look forward to while engaging with your content.

 

8. Include relevant hashtags

Identify the hashtags that your users can identify with in your industry and use it in your Instagram posts. It could include specific themes or recruiting campaigns that you’re running. While it is important to include relevant hashtags to your posts, it is never a good idea to flood them with it.

 

9. Write awesome posts

Every Instagram post must have an engaging and exciting copy. A lot of companies ignore this and their posts lack engagement. Instead, use the space to describe a picture or a video and explain the context so people know what it is all about. You’ll be happy you did that.

 

10. Be consistent

When it comes to content on social media, consistency helps build credibility with your audience. And, this is also the hardest aspect to achieve.  That is why a content calendar can help you stick to schedules, so no matter what happens, your Instagram audience is always engaged. Remember engaging with your audience is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

 

A word of caution

As you begin planning your Instagram recruiting strategy, we have a word of caution for you. Instagram is a brilliant social media platform, which is unfortunately not designed for recruiters. It helps build personal brands and engage with fans, followers, and customers.

So, if you’ve zeroed in on a few ideal candidate profiles, you must resist sending them a message on Instagram. Instead, trace them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and scan their social activity, likes, and interests.

Scrape their email ids, and send them a personalized note explaining how you found them and why you feel they’d be ideal candidates for your company. In a nutshell, don’t use Instagram to engage with them because they may not be comfortable talking about job opportunities there.

 

Before you go…

A lot of human resource professionals feel that recruiting on Instagram is insurmountable. The truth is that it needs patience and sticking to the basics – Always put your audience first. When done correctly, you’re likely to develop a fanbase for your content which serves as a talent pool too.

Karthik Subramanian

Karthik Subramanian I’m passionate about content marketing and I love to help people get started on their marketing journeys. I am a medium-distance runner and I love beaches (especially on balmy Sunday evenings). I can read a balance sheet and have a Bachelor of Commerce degree, but I’m wondering what to do with it.

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