Talent Acquisition

5 Ways to Recruit on Instagram

Instagram is an iPhone (and now also Android) application which allows users to take pictures, add filters and then share these edited photographs to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more, all through one application. In April this year, it was bought by social media giant Facebook for £1billion, and boasts well over 50 million users, with no adverts.

I heard a quote from Jeremy Langhans that Instagram “puts the ‘media’ into social media” – but how can recruiters truly use this non-recruitment site to find employees? Here’s how in 5 simple steps.

1. Build Your Brand:

In a similar fashion to a Facebook page, or Twitter feed, it is important to show that your brand is professional and that you take Instagram seriously.

Make sure that there is a high quality profile picture on your Instagram account, and that the details on your profile (company name and website) are filled out in a correct and working fashion. This can help a lot if a jobseeker stumbles across your profile by accident and then (luckily) has a link to follow to your website. Also ensure you have a company page listed under your company name, which all your employees follow (just to start building the important momentum).

Instagram has a ‘Following’ tab which, if the user chooses to view it, will show the actions of the users they follow (likes, comments and follows) – you may pick up the odd follower from this tab. Make sure your brand is known and is out there and that you are active.

2. Seek Out the Passive Talent:

Once you have built up a brand, start to look for users who may be fans of your brand, or interested in a similar brand. Find the people who are not actively looking for a job – 80% of the population is not looking for a job – and this will allow you to reach a larger set of users and build up your followers.

Make sure you comment on their photos, thanking them for sharing your brand, like their photos and maybe even follow them. Don’t follow everyone expecting follow backs, this may become spammy and put users off.

3. Search/Hashtags

To find talent, you have to search, and the best way to search is using hashtags. Searches on Instagram are carried out on username or hashtag, so a search for #Recruitment will bring up these results. When uploading photographs, ensure you use hashtags – but don’t hashtag every element of the photo and be careful.

Some Instagram users will hashtag too many times on their photo with useless tags – meaning that a search may only bring up 50% useful results – don’t be one of the users who spams the tags feed.

4. Locations

Instagram have an interesting partnership deal with FourSquare – when a user posts a photo, they have an option to tag it to a location.

Want to find someone locally? Search for #[location] and then through the Location tags provided on that search, or click the blue link on a photo (the location link) and it will bring up all photos tagged to that location (in the photo above, clicking on ‘Finchley’ will bring up all photos tagged to that location).

5. Be Active

The last and most important tip is to be active. Be on Instagram daily, being the first on photos of your brand, create a hashtag especially for your brand, and also maybe run a few competitions or contests. This will build your fanbase and allow to see whether the people who like your brand are the people you want to employ.

Being active gives you a wider reach of followers and possible recruitment talent. You can then create photos advertising your open jobs and post these on your account, allowing your wide follower base to apply.


It is important to build a brand on websites such as Instagram, and to keep active and friendly. And most importantly, be the first to do it – do not wait until other people have started using Instagram regularly. It will make you more interesting to possible candidates and to followers. Link your account to your Twitter and Facebook to alert people to your Instagram account’s presence, and to up the likes and shares.

Do you use Instagram for recruitment? Please share your experience!

RELATED: How to Use Instagram for Brand Marketing [Free eBook]

By Laurence Hebberd