Talent Acquisition

Untapped Territory: Social Recruiting with Instagram and Pinterest

Well there’s no doubt about it, social recruiting has improved both the quantity and quality of candidates, and an online study by Jobvite suggests that one-third of human resource professionals tend to agree. This is because social profiles are giving recruiters more confidence in not only the professional fit of a candidate but the cultural fit too. Employers and candidates both actively seek this fit and a shifting trend in working life and employer brand positioning means that brands are opening their doors to the public and using the workplace as a communication tool to share their cultural values – and they’re using social media to do it.

The survey study suggests that a staggering 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile and 42% have reconsidered a candidate after viewing it. This lead to both positive and negative re-assessments, and funnily enough, it’s not awkward photos that are deterring potential employers – it’s often profanity, and grammar and punctuation errors that trigger negative reactions (over 60% of the time).

This upward trend means that the hiring environment is getting increasingly more competitive and defining your social media strategy is evermore important. Recruiters with clear social media strategy are reaching beyond the predicted platforms and into social environments like Pinterest and Instagram, which are being considered as “specialised”, “localised” and “up-and-coming”.

Pinterest and Instagram are not primarily designed to be recruiting sites, so unfortunately many recruiters fail to see the value in using them. But the fact is, plenty of desirable candidates and potential brands and clients use them, as much and sometimes more as other social sites. There is a strategic opportunity here, and it’s based around the idea of this cultural fit – both these sites offer users the opportunity to express themselves, their interests, their creativity, their skills – even insight into their current, past and future work life. These platforms are being considered as an “innovators way of recruiting” – if you’re using it already, you’re one of the first to harness the opportunity.

Dan Finnigan, President and CEO of Jobvite, rightly says “It’s no longer a question of ‘are recruiters using social media?’, it’s a question of how.

So how are you using it? Have you considered using Pinterest or Instragram?

What is Pinterest?

  • Popular sharing site launched in 2011
  • Simple user interface makes it widely used
  • Sharing content is accomplished easily (photos can be pined to boards and then shared to Facebook and Twitter)
  • Highly visual images go viral
  • Videos can also be pinned to boards
  • Over 48 million registered members
  • 80% of all pins are re-pins

What are the benefits of using Pinterest?

  • Driving Traffic with SEO: Like many social networks, it drives traffic to job openings and talent communities by tagging – in this case, with ‘pins’. Recruiters are able to ‘pin’ pictures and information about a job or potential employment opportunities using photos and graphics. You can add links and other information either within the content of the image or in the description below it. This search engine optimization approach relies on the use of organic search on the Pinterest site to drive candidates to your posts.
  • Sourcing for Candidates: Pinterest is the perfect platform for our much-loved infographics. They are all over the social platform and are another reason to discuss the “death of the resume” and “rise of the infographic resume”. It’s a great idea and the trend is catching but at this stage, most applicant tracking systems are made to track down a graphic in lieu of a traditional resume format.

Pinterest Strategies:

  • Make the most important boards appear first.
  • Add relevant keywords to your boards and pin descriptions.
  • Reciprocal pinning: sharing only your own work will not encourage other pinners to share your content.
  • Pin when users are most active (2pm-4pm and 8pm-1am).

READ MORE: How to Recruit Using Pinterest [Top 3 Tips] / How To Use Pinterest for Social Recruiting [Cool Example]

What is Instagram?

  • Popular for its photo-editing features
  • Simplistic photo sharing ability allows users to upload images easily and quickly
  • Photos can be shared to other networks: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr & Tumblr
  • Creative images receives comments and likes
  • 40 million photos shared every day
  • 8,500 likes per second
  • 1,000 comments per seconds

What are the benefits of using Instagram? 

  • Employer brand image building: Being a photo-sharing app, Instagram certainly has the “cool factor” going for it. It draws trend leaders and allows brands an opportunity to outwardly portray its brand image to attract the right candidates. This reflects back on the idea of brands using their workplace as communication tool to express brand values. Instagram is one of the perfect places to do this.
  • Hashtag search for candidates: The platform uses the most simple keyword search process – the hashtag. It’s as simple as searching “writer”, “engineering”, “PR”, and you will not only receive an abundance of results to filter through, but recommendations from Instagram. The ability to follow and communicate directly with other users via the comment feature is also a great way to engage.

Instagram Strategies:

  • Follow others in your field/industry and network.
  • Post visually stimulating images that generate a significant amount of activity.
  • Stay active: Instagram feeds can become very cluttered.
  • Share images to other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The rise in popularity of both these platforms gives more possibility in recruiting in terms of recruiting tools. There’s lots to be learnt, lots to be explored and there is no doubt that when both platforms realise their potential as recruitment tools, more recruitment-focused features will be added to support us too.

These are both untapped potential candidate pipelines with little to no cost, of course with the exception of your time – definitely something to consider.

READ MORE: How to Recruit Using Instagram [5 Simple Steps]

Image: Shutterstock

By Amanda Ashworth

Amanda Ashworth is an agency recruiter with a passion for social recruiting, who now focuses on marketing. She blogs about the changes within the recruitment industry and social media. Follow Amanda on Twitter @RecSocially.