Let’s Get Visual: Attracting and Sourcing Candidates Using Instagram and Vine

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Aug 30, 2013

If I was honest about how many hours a day I spend on social media sites, you may be a bit concerned. But let’s face it, I’m not the only one addicted to social media. In the past, it’s been a great resource for keeping up with friends, checking out new trends, and busying ourselves during awkward moments. But in recent years, social media has taken on new functions: employment branding, personal branding, job promotion, and recruitment.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are go-to tools that extend our reach where candidates already spend time. But, because of this, people are now bombarded with content and have limited attention span to sort through it all, reducing the effectiveness of your message. Using it to promote a link for your job description is just not enough anymore. Candidates are bored of the repetitive verbiage, and they all begin to blend together after reading job description after job description. It’s time to get candidates quickly engaged again. So, what’s the solution? Keep it short, sweet, and visual.

Cue Instagram and Vine.

Why you should consider Instagram and Vine for attracting candidates:

  • Engagement through visual stimulation: Just the other day, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed (as usual), and I came across a beautiful picture of a vacation resort. You can bet that I took a few seconds to stop and read the details in hopes of finding out where this was located. I quickly discovered it was a job posting by one of my coworkers for our client. Needless to say, I was impressed by how easily she was able to capture my attention with a quality image.
  • Regardless of what people say, hashtags are your best friend: Hashtags are essential for categorizing and keywording your job postings to make them searchable. Take some time to play around with your hashtags to see which ones get the most hits. Including a job title and location can be beneficial to add to your post. For example, “We’re #hiring #recruiters to work in our #Tampa office. #Job #Employment #JobOpening #InstaJob.” Also, you may want to add contact information or a job posting link in the description section to allow candidates to connect or apply effortlessly. If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, check out a site like It’s a great resource for you to check the popularity of specific hashtags and to see what other hashtags are typically used with it. Although this site is primarily used for Twitter, many people have linked up their social media sites to simultaneously post, so these hashtags will be relevant on other sites too.
  • Your employment brand can be a candidate’s deciding factor: The point of having all sorts of awesome PR and blogs out about your employment brand and company culture are to help candidates envision themselves at your company. But, sometimes words aren’t enough. Take a tip from one of the many effective employment brands using Instagram and Vine to give candidates an inside look at their company, like Adobe, for example.

Social media can be a great resource to find candidates, as well. People are starting to use social media to bring their “resumes to life.” Candidates want to show recruiters that they have knowledge, thought leadership, and passion, in addition to the skills and experience necessary for the job. Although I don’t rely on social media profiles to qualify candidates for positions, it’s an option for recruiters to gain insight into candidates’ professional experience.

Some ways candidates are adding something extra to their traditional resumes:

  • Candidates have learned the art of personal branding: Jobseekers are getting crafty in their self-promotion. These days, it seems like the traditional resume isn’t always enough to “wow” a recruiter. As an alternative approach, candidates are now taking the time to find other options to professionally highlight themselves as individuals in ways that a paper resume can’t. Where are they showcasing their skills? You guessed it – social media. So why not take the time to learn more about them?
  • Jobseekers are already best friends with hashtags: Jobseekers are using hashtags as a way to promote themselves. Additionally, there are plenty of hashtags being utilized by candidates to help you source for them. Hashtags that jobseekers are using on Vine and Instagram include #HireMe, #Unemployed, and #Jobseeker. They’re also including job titles, additional contact information and other social media sites, and location details to help recruiters hone in on relevant talent. For example, when I was on the market for work, my social media sites typically stated, “#HireMe for #HR in #Charleston,” and included a link to my LinkedIn profile. Also, to help you better target talent, Instagram has partnered with Foursquare to make it simple for you to search by location via hashtag. Websites such as enable you to search users, pictures, and videos by hashtag. Check out an example here, and test it out for yourself.
  • Take notice of your talent community: Candidates are always looking for ways to get noticed by their employers of choice, and they may be your biggest advocates. Building and maintaining a talent community can be an effective way for you to develop an engaged talent pool. Take the time to review people in your community who are actively looking to work at your company or find ways to capture the attention of your passive community members. It’s always an added bonus to hire someone who’s already invested in your company.

Creating and sustaining an employment brand and sourcing for candidates takes time and talent. Having these visual options can be an effective way to grab candidates’ attention and direct them back to your company website, or detailed job posting. Additionally, Instagram and Vine enable you to share postings with your other established social media sites, giving you more variety and social reach. Not sure where to start? Check out apps like InstaJob to help you kick off your recruiting campaigns.

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