Talent Acquisition

A Guide to Sourcing on Instagram

Last month I covered the topic: how to use Instagram as a networking tool.

This month…. how to use Instagram to source potential hires.

A lot of times when recruiters talk about using Instagram to source and recruit they only use the social media  platform to post a visual job ad– a modern day version of post and pray on job boards.

Before giving you a couple of examples of how to source candidates on Instagram, here are a few things to think about.

Consider these points…

First, Instagram is different, it’s an opportunity to show both the professional and somewhat personal side of you. Try and cultivate a type of relationship you may not have with your potential hires like on LinkedIn.

Second, imagine if a candidate spotted your Instagram account – would they want to connect and/or engage with you?

If so, you’re off to a good start.

Lastly, update your bio – easy to do- include your title [Sr. Recruiter] company name [Recruiting Social] – and info that relates to you – the recruiter.

Back to the sourcing part…

1. Searching hashtags for events or keywords.

For example here is a hashtag used from a local coding school in Vancouver: #lighthouselabs

While in your Instagram account click the search function [magnify glass].

In the search box type:  #lighthouselabs

This will give you search results for: coders, students, recruiters, founders of startups, and tech companies.

From there, click on individual accounts to determine if these are ‘potential candidates’ whom you’d like to reach out to.

For a much broader, less focused search, try:

In the search box type:  #UX (this is a commonly used tech term for user experience)

The idea here, we’re looking for any account talking about UX. Yes, this is based on a keyword, you will find worldwide search results- there are A LOT [91,947].

2. Search by location 

Now, let’s narrow down our search to a particular city [Vancouver] using a Boolean X-Ray Search string on Google. ux (vancouver OR bc) -jobs -inurl:company

This gives us 119 search results… much more manageable.

3. Click on an Instagram user you come across in your results.

We may find in their bio or stream of photos:

  • Where they work
  • What they work on
  • Who they work with
  • Events they attend

Go through the Instagrammer’s followers and see who they might be associated with; for example: UX designers, tech companies, CEO’s/CTO’s and other industry related professionals.

Take that one extra [creepy] step further… click on the tags of people in the photo from an industry event that the user attended. You now have a new trail of potential candidates to explore.

So, how do we reach out to our ‘potential hires’?

This takes us us back to my previous post.

For the everyday sourcer this may seem time consuming-out-of the-box way of finding candidates. For me, it’s simple – source, connect/engage, find some commonality [passion for tech] – introduce them to me and my company.

Follow me on Instagram @abortolusssi.

Editor’s note: We recently interviewed Angela about Instagram for social selling and recruiting:

By Angela Bortolussi

Angela Bortolussi is Recruiting Manager [Specializing in Technology I Product] for the Vancouver and Los Angeles Recruiting Social’s office.