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Instagram recruiting: Employer branding

Instagram recruiting gives you the opportunity to tap into one of the best unexpected talent sources.  Trailing Facebook and YouTube, Instagram clocks in at a whopping 1 billion active users a month. 500 million of those are active every day. Such an engaged audience would be a shame to waste in your hiring process. Instagram recruiting is worth a shot.

Digital recruitment is crucial for expanding your talent pools. And good news: Instagram’s user base expands worldwide. Sourcing for a specific location? That’s easy to accomplish on the platform, too.

Before you start your candidate outreach on Instagram, however, you need to build your employer brand on the platform. If potential talent clicks on your company or personal profile and finds one lone picture of a desk plant, they won’t take the bait. There are multiple ways to show the “human” side to your brand. Here are the steps you can take to showcase your company culture on Instagram.

1. Pick the right username, bio, and profile picture.

Your Instagram profile is the only place you can post links, so use this space wisely. If you have 10,000+ followers, you can post Instagram stories that allow viewers to “swipe up” and go to a provided link. But if you’re just getting your bearings on the platform, this likely won’t be an option at first. Especially if you’re a small company, it’s important to set the stage on your profile first and foremost.

Your username should be simple and easy to remember. If you’re hard to find, you won’t be found. If your company’s name is available, take it. You can also try to get it by DMing the account with it or using copyright claims! When all else fails, use a word tagged on the end (rather than random numbers) that is relevant to your brand. Keep it identifiable and easy to understand. Your profile picture should match all of your other social profiles and be simple, as well. A logo works well, here.

Tip: Only create a separate careers Instagram recruiting profile if your target candidates differ greatly from your customers! An example of an instance in which this would work is @disneycareers:

disney instagram recruiting

An Instagram bio is limited to 150 characters. In less than a tweet, you need to explain what your company is all about! While your Instagram can be used to push your product, it’s better-suited for employer branding. For that reason, use your tagline and relevant company hashtags. But also mention that you’re hiring and showing potential new hires what it’s like to work with you! Drop that careers site link in the designated area.

recruitee instagram bio recruiting

(Example from our Recruitee Instagram bio. Follow us @Recruitee for more inspiration!)

  Digital recruitment: hiring for a global workforce

2. Take pictures in your company’s natural habitat.

Potential candidates will want to see what’s going on behind the scenes at your company. While this can look staged, if you take photos during natural occurrences in the office, it has less of a chance of looking fake. Don’t just tout that ping-pong table. Take pictures of things relevant talent would find interesting, such as:

  • Office upgrades;
  • Company milestones;
  • New hires;
  • Birthday parties;
  • Discussion panels;
  • Events;
  • The view from office windows;
  • Clean desks with branded merch;
  • Customer and employee testimonials;
  • Relevant memes, even.

The options are almost endless. Here’s an example from @whatsapp:

whatsapp instagram recruiting

And if you’re going to use filters, make sure to use them sparingly and consistently. Lower the intensity on whichever filter you use, and keep the filter the same across each picture. This makes for a seamless feed that’s pleasing to the eye. It shows that you’ve taken the time and effort to show off your best company assets: the employees! This builds trust and adds to your credibility as an employer.

Tip: Smartphone pictures can look just as great as professional ones! Ask your coworkers for candid photos around the office to fill up your feed.

tonys chocolonely nl instagram recruiting

(Pictured: @tonyschocolonely_nl)

3. Choose the right captions and hashtags.

If you’re hiring, use #hiring. If you’re posting about an event, find the hashtag used for that specific event. Curate your hashtags so that they are relevant and searchable. Using too many looks a bit sloppy and unprofessional. If you’d like to hide them, altogether, you can put them in the first comment under the picture rather than the caption.

  Why startup hiring is every founder’s greatest challenge

You can also use periods on each line to delegate the hashtags to the “read more” section of the caption. This cleans up the text and allows the important stuff to be highlighted! Keep your captions short and to the point. Make sure readers know how excited you are to be bringing on new team members or celebrating company holidays. Overall, sell yourself as a company that everyone would want to work for (and that culture fits can’t help to apply to.)

colophon foundry instagram recruiting

(Example of simple text and hashtags in the first comment from @mindsparklemagazine)

4. Follow and interact with relevant profiles.

Find relevant companies and individuals to follow on Instagram. In the tech field? Search “tech” in the Instagram search bar. Follow companies or influencers that you are already aware of. It’s also a good idea to comment and like other photos on Instagram. Again, use that search bar to find relevant posts.

But be careful! Don’t spam with the same comments or follow too many profiles. This will signal to Instagram and its users that you’re not engaging genuinely. Following and unfollowing quickly is also a tactic that is useful for growth, but obvious and frowned upon in the Instagram community. In other words, follow companies and individuals that you are aware of or find interesting and useful to your field. Interact with them, and don’t be generic!

5. Post stories, videos, and photo carousels.

Get creative with your posts! Instagram is great for photos, yes. But are you tapping into its full media potential? You can post:

  • Multiple photos at once;
  • GIFs;
  • Videos;
  • IGTV;
  • And stories!

Story highlights are a great addition to your Instagram recruiting repertoire. Have a great Instagram story that you don’t want to disappear after 24 hours? Highlight it! This will allow potential talent to view it any time they like. You can even put story highlights into categories for a sleek, organized feel.

social recruiting playbook

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