Your company’s targeting the up-and-coming stars in IT and finance, education and medicine, cyber security and hospitality, to name just a few of the many high-demand employment sectors steering today’s candidate-driven job market. Newsflash: so is every other company. With such fierce competition for the best and brightest, the only recruiting approach that makes sense is one that utilizes an every-possible-strategy-on-deck mindset. It includes capitalizing on avenues that, at first glance, might not seem all that related to recruiting and hiring: like Instagram.
Of course, you’re recruiting via LinkedIn, posting employment opportunities on Facebook, and tweeting about those openings. But are you also using Instagram to recruit? Have you positioned Instagram as a tool in your recruitment toolbox?
“But Instagram’s for posting cool pics . . . not for reaching out to job candidates.“
Lots of folks think that, or they used to, but more companies “get it” every day: That the incredibly popular social media platform, which happens to be especially appealing to Millennials and Gen Zers, can indeed be a contender in the world of recruiting.
Check out these impressive stats:
- Current Instagram users total 2.35 billion worldwide and 159 million in the US.
- IG’s largest demographic at 31.2% is the 25-34-year-old Millennials.
“But recruiting on a picture-sharing site? Why would we put time and effort into that?”
You remember the Japanese proverb declaring, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” right? “Yes, but.“
Listen, the majority of us fall into the “visual learner” category, a whopping 65%. And there’s evidence that these people are more likely to remember what they see, retain the information, engage with it, and actually apply it. And guess what? Visual learners enjoy soaking up knowledge more than their friends and family, who happen not to be visual learners. Bonus points, for sure!
So, the question is not if you should incorporate Instagram into your recruiting plan but how best to use the platform. If you’re thinking of a pic of the HR manager smiling, holding a sign that announces in bold font “WE ARE HIRING,” please, hold that thought. The first order of business will be to attract the attention of Instagram users by giving them, via creative visual content, a front-row seat to the day-to-day workings of your company. Think upbeat, encouraging, inspirational, and fun. Especially fun.
A fun work environment creates all kinds of perks, including less-stressed, more-productive, more-creative, better-engaged employees. It promotes the unity that bonds employees into cohesive teams. That’s a topic in itself, perhaps one for another day.
Let’s get back to what kind of pics to post, ones that don’t feature the smiling HR manager—not yet, anyway. Think happy occasions, celebrations, personal success stories, team accomplishments, and company awards. Mingle in shots of the property: the well-kept exterior spruced up for the season, the bright, inviting workspaces, and the relaxing break room. And don’t forget to share photos of events like the staff Christmas party, the company softball team posing with the runner-up trophy, or the end-of-season photo of the company-sponsored Little League team coached by employees. Feature training and staff development opportunities.
What you want to do is tell the story of what it’s like to work at your company with pictures. You want to create a visual of your company’s culture, an inside peek. Once your visually appealing content has garnered a following, then a picture of the smiling HR manager with his bold-font sign announcing “WE ARE HIRING” will have an impact. Because your IG content has already given both active and passive candidates an idea of what working at your company would look like. And who wouldn’t like to work at a place that cares about its employees and the community?
You’re getting the picture now, aren’t you? And that’s exactly what your Instagram followers will get, your company’s story told in pictures.
Don’t get hung up on the fact that Instagram wasn’t built to be a recruiting tool. That’s right: it wasn’t, but IG has evolved into so much more than a site to warehouse stunning sunset shots or cute kiddo pictures. So, put aside how you used to view Instagram and embrace the reality of how it can impact your recruiting efforts.
1Steve Isenberg, President, ASJ Partners