Didn’t think Instagram was a recruiting tool? Think again!

by | Marketing, Sourcing

By Luke Doubler

Even though LinkedIn is most likely the first social media platform that pops into a recruiter’s mind, it’s not the only valuable resource to find potential candidates. If you haven’t thought about using Instagram as a recruiting tool yet, then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Instagram: the “new job description”

Check out these amazing stats about Instagram:

  • 1 billion active users every month
  • 500 million active users every day
  • 8 million businesses have an account
  • 95 million photos and videos are shared daily
  • 4.2 billion likes on posts every single day

Instagram is the most highly engaged social platform out there, so take advantage of this huge network. It’s a gold mine of potential! Think of Instagram as a platform to market both you and your company. The biggest value add is that it drives engagement and curiously of users. A job description can now be a cool picture of the office, employees creating innovative products and/or services, or a place to share experiences of your team members.

9 Easy Ways to Get More Out of Instagram

Here are nine easy ways to get more leverage from Instagram for your recruiting purposes.

1. Create a Personal Brand

Instagram captures people’s lives in specific moments and in its rawest form. So while you don’t need to be as serious on this social platform, like on LinkedIn, you still want to remain professional in a casual way.

There’s also a pretty high chance that anyone you reach out to will also check out your profile to understand you better. They may look to see if you both have something in common or share the same interests or hobbies or just want to get more of your story. You’re showcasing yourself not just as a recruiter but also personally, as a human being. It’s human nature to be curious about each other. So, if you’re going to check out someone, just expect them to check you out as well.

Before publishing any post, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about what you would want to know about a recruiter if they contacted you. To show your personal side, post pictures of you and your family, friends, pets, eating at your favorite restaurant, taking a hike, etc. Then, to show more of your professional side, post pictures of your company’s culture, like working at your desk, hanging out with co-workers, group meetings, playing ping pong with your manager, celebrating someone’s birthday in the office, etc.

People also love to be inspired, and Instagram is the perfect platform to post inspirational quotes and memes. From a motivating quote by Tony Robbins to a beautiful, soulful quote by Maya Angelou, you’ll most likely get engagement from these types of posts too. But, whatever you decide to post, always make sure it’s tasteful and appropriate.

2. Spice Up Your Bio

You may only be on Instagram to find potential candidates, but it’s just as much about you as it is your job as a recruiter. Before you start engaging with people, make sure your bio tells them a little more about you than just your name and the company you work for. Again, think about what you would want to know about a recruiter if they reached out to you and how you can connect with people. Try to humanize yourself. It’s also a good idea to keep it short and sweet. For example:

Corporate Recruiter ?‍?

Swimmer ?‍♂️

Cat Lover ?

Baker & Foodie ?‍??

New York City ??


Choose whatever format that fits your personality, but be sure to share some personal details about yourself.

3. Use Hashtags

Hashtags (#) are everything on Instagram. It’s how people find you and you find potential talent. When you use at least one or more hashtags, your engagement could increase by around 12%. Ideally, using between 10-30 hashtags is the standard for most posts today. This allows you to reach a wide range of people interested in various topics.

For example: looking for a software engineer? Try searching and/or using these and related hashtags: #softwareengineering #programming #developer #php. If you’re looking for a developer at a media company in a specific area, add a hashtag of the company and location. For instance, Disney (#disneyworld #waltdisneyworld) and then cross-reference the location of the position (#florida).

Here are some other popular hashtags to use, but be sure to do your own hashtag research: #hiring, #nowhiring, #joinourteam, #jobopening, #recruiter, #recruiterlife, #recruitment.

As you hunt and search different types of hashtags, you can now follow those hashtags and see other’s posts also using that hashtag. It’s also a great way to see how popular certain hashtags are and how many people are using them. To build your personal brand or create more awareness with your own company, create your own custom hashtags and continually use those in your posts so people start to correlate those hashtags with your brand or company. Encourage your co-workers to use the same hashtags on their posts as well.  

4. Experiment with Instagram Live

As the popularity of live streaming increases, test the waters with Instagram Live. This will definitely increase your game in the recruiting world. When you stream live, your followers can instantly see you and interact with you via chat. This allows you to get on a more personal level with people and answer questions in real time.

Here are some ideas on things you can live stream: Q&A about different jobs companies are looking for, Q&A about creating resumes or the hiring process, Q&A about a day in the life of a recruiter, show behind-the-scenes at a conference or live event, or right before a team meeting starts, gather everyone together to say hi and talk about what you’re up to. If your company volunteers in the community, jump on live for a few minutes to show people who you’re helping. Or, if you’re surprising a co-worker on their birthday, film it live so your audience can be part of the surprise as well.

To boost awareness of any event either you’re hosting or attending, promote it ahead of time. Let people know that you’re going to be live at that event on a specific day at a specific time and encourage people to join you live then. Doing so will make them feel like they are there with you and experiencing the event too.

5. Use Instagram Stories

Stories on Instagram have become wildly popular after the feature came on the scene, using Snapchat as their inspiration. Go beyond just posting pictures and videos with Instagram Stories. If you’re not familiar with this amazing feature, it allows you to share pictures or 15-second video clips of moments during your day. People have 24 hours to view your photo or video before it disappears. You can find Stories in the top row of the application, not in your profile or feed.

So what do you post on Stories? This is where you can get creative and have fun. To any photo, you can add filters, text, drawings, stickers, and hashtags. You can also add your location if you’re at an event or your favorite local spot. You can ask questions and poll your followers.

Show your personal side by creating stories on what you do outside of work. Show off your musical talent in a video or your artistic talent with a photo of your latest creation. Share what you do on the weekends or during a holiday. This also helps to present a good work-life balance.

Again, just like with streaming live, give a behind-the-scenes look at any live event you attend, like a career fair, conference, company outing, or volunteering at an organization. Capture a few short videos or snapshots while you’re there to help your audience feel immersed in the event as well. Take them with you.

Another reason to use Instagram Stories is to widen your reach. Stories are “discoverable,” which means not only do your followers see them, but people who don’t follow you can also see them in their stories feed. So now you can reach even more people as they discover you.

6. Create Videos

If you haven’t already noticed, videos are not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, get ready for even MORE videos popping up. When it comes to marketing, video is the way of the future, and many businesses claim that it has helped them engage more with their customers and clients and even increased their conversions. So what does this mean for the business of recruiting? You should jump on the bandwagon as well.

Unlike Instagram Stories that only give you 15 seconds to create a video, when you record a video on your profile, you have up to 60 seconds. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it is, and it’s just enough time to capture someone’s attention and keep it. So test using video with your followers and see how they respond. You can help increase your credibility by making a video talking about an open role in a company and your experience recruiting for this type of job. You could shoot a video answering some common questions you are always asked by job seekers. You can give some pro tips that will help candidates when interviewing for a job. The possibilities are endless!

7. Check-In at Locations or Venues

Go beyond just posting photos, videos, and stories on Instagram. When you’re actively seeking potential candidates in certain locations, using the check-in feature and tagging your location will be very beneficial in your Instagram recruiting strategy. It also helps passive job seekers find you.

For example, if you’re at a convention and you tag yourself at that convention, then others at that event know you are there too and you can meet up. Or, you can learn who else is attending and you can seek them out. It works both ways! Just like hashtags.

You can also use it to source candidates. Once you know where someone is or what they attend, you learn more about them, what they like, what their hobbies are, what their interests are, and you can create specific questions during your screening process.

8. Use Other Social Platforms to Cross-Promote & Cross-Reference

As you use Instagram, don’t forget about using other social media. Don’t be afraid to share your Instagram posts on Twitter or Facebook. Visually-appealing posts get more reshares and engagement across all the social networks. You can also encourage your followers on Twitter and Facebook to follow you on Instagram to build your community over there as well.

In addition, as you hunt for candidates and connect with them on Instagram, you can also connect with them across their other social profiles. Their bio might include a link to their blog or website. Their Instagram handle could also be their email address, which you can use an email verifier to test it out.

9. Be Active & Engaging

Social media is about… well, being social! It’s not about posting, getting comments and likes, but not engaging back with people. It’s a two-way street. If someone makes a comment, comment back. If someone follows you, follow them back if you have any interest in what they are all about. But definitely do not feel like you have to follow everyone who follows you.

Also, as you scroll through your feed, like posts, follow people, and comment. The more engaging you are, the more engagement you’ll get in return. However, be thoughtful and genuine with your comments. Try to avoid generic responses like, “Nice post,” so you don’t come off as spammy.

As for how often to post on your own profile? You don’t have to post daily (though it does increase your visibility if you do), but at a minimum, you should post around three times a week. You want to stay active and keep posting new, fresh, compelling content to attract potential talent to you. Test different days and different times of the day to see which is the best posting days and times for your audience to engage.


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