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How to use Instagram as a powerful recruitment tool

By Roxanne Abercrombie, Uniting Ambition

The key to successful candidate attraction in 2015 is creativity. With hiring returning to pre-recession levels and an ever-shrinking talent pool, top candidates are now both sought after and fought after.  These choice professionals are receiving multiple offers and counter offers, enabling their selectiveness.  To stand out from the crowd and entice more of the right people, recruiters now need to think outside the box and show their difference. What quicker, more cost-effective way to do so than through Instagram?

Instagram boasts 300 million monthly active users, 70 million daily photograph uploads and 8500 likes per second. As well as that, Instagram is highly popular amongst the prized, socially-savvy Generation Y demographic. Evidently, its an opportune exposure platform and therein lies its advantage as a powerful recruitment tool.

Heres some simple steps recruiters can take to harness that power, win results and attract candidates.

Build your connections

Use Instagram as an opportunity to both grow your network and engage with it in a new way. Follow talented candidates, follow your clients, follow industry leaders and follow candidates youve successfully placed. Doing so is an unexpected move for a recruiter and differentiates you as socially alert.

All recruiters have already used the tried and tested method of using LinkedIn as a social recruiting tool. Many are also using Twitter and Facebook. But few, exceptionally few in fact, are using Instagram as a strategic tool. As an informal, visual social media channel, Instagram will allow you to build those connections in a way thats fresh and fun.

Maintain consistent activity

After youve established your all-important connections, you need to pique their interest with a regular output of visually stimulating images and videos. The beauty of Instagram as a recruitment tool is its capacity to show personality. Embrace this and share your behind the scenes reel, showing your network what a vibrant company you work for and putting a human face behind the brand.
Be versatile here. Share shots and quick videos of the team hard at work, of staff parties and of individual recruiters after making a deal. Post inspirational career quotes and relevant, news-related pictures accompanied with interesting industry updates. Record a weekly recruitment round-up delivered by your company CEO to show off your expertise in the field. This type of activity will increase your visibility and your brand awareness, making you come across as a fun but knowledgeable company that candidates would want to work with.

Drive engagement

As useful as catching the eye of your connections is, it wont win deliver ROI until you begin to engage. This doesnt just mean liking pictures and using hashtags (both of which you should do, however). It means actively seeking conversations with candidates by asking questions, posting comments and sending messages. For recruiters, this is a chance to get creative with your sourcing methods.

For example, if a talented candidate posts a picture of their birthday cake, you might want to message them with a quirky greeting saying something like:  We hope you have a great day! If you want to celebrate with a brand new job, you know where we are. If theyve posted a picture of a meal, perhaps comment with something along the lines of: Looks irresistible! Almost as irresistible as this job weve cherry-picked for you...

Admittedly, this kind of activity is tongue-in-cheek, but so is the platform youre using. With its informality, Instagram is the perfect place for a touch of humour.

Create recruitment competitions

Social recruitment competitions are where recruiters can get real leverage from Instagram. Not only are they innovative and quirky, they can also be highly effective when done well. For example, if youre recruiting for a Lead Designer role, share a picture of yourself with a sign asking for Designers to share their best logo designs on Instagram, with the winner receiving an automatic interview. Perhaps post a video of yourself posing a killer interview question for a hot role and asking candidates to answer it using their own video reply. The key is to keep competitions light and fun enough to earn traction, whilst relevant enough to win engagement from desirable candidates.
Instagram recruitment campaigns are a real rarity in the industry and will set you apart as a leader, not a follower. They require no cost and very little effort on the recruiters part, but can still win fantastic results.

If you want to stay one step ahead of the game in the recruitment industry, its time to stop ignoring the sway of Instagram. Its not just a fun social media state, its also a valid and highly valuable recruitment tool that will keep you current, competitive and attractive to candidates.

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Author bio: Roxanne Abercrombie is a professional copywriter and serial blogger. She works as PR, Content and Social Executive for Uniting Ambition, a specialist company that provides recruitment and talent management services to businesses at varying stages of growth, from start-up and medium sized enterprises through to global brands.
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