How Sourcers Can Shine on Snapchat

Lately, it seems like a ton of people in the recruiting and sourcing community are trying to figure out Snapchat. Meanwhile, DMR said there are a 100 million daily active users, 30% of millennial users access Snapchat, and 9,000 snaps per second. That’s a lot, so if you’re in recruiting or sourcing then Snapchat is a good place to be. Question is, how should you use it, and what are you going to get out of it?

I’ve been on Snapchat for three months now, and I’m addicted. Believe it or not, although not the most intuitive of apps, it’s not that hard to use once you get the hang of it. It shouldn’t take you more than 10-15 seconds to get a snap just right, with editing. Even though I haven’t been on Snapchat for that long, I’ve been asked questions (guess what…through Snapchat), in a few main areas from folks in our industry.

Why should I use Snapchat, and if I do, how do I build up my friends?

Snapchat is an additional way for you to create a personal brand, and to let your friends see bits and pieces of your life. It’s about storytelling, day by day, snap by snap. Question is, how interesting is your life and the story that you’re telling? You may not be climbing Mount Everest, or going to the Taj Mahal, and the good news is that you don’t have to be doing that. You do need to find a way to tell a good story, and if it takes using filters, stickers, and watching a couple of YouTube videos on Snapchat, then do it. The successful snappers out there are.

Do some simple research and follow folks that are doing a great job with Snapchat. Learn from what they do, and read articles on how to make your snaps stand out. I’ve found that people don’t mind when you snap them directly to ask questions. Also, ask yourself what are the main things that you want your brand to represent. If you do sourcing, then talk about it. Give tips to people on sourcing, and tell some funny stories that happen day to day.

If you work out and you’re into health, then go for it. Talk about that. Find at least 2-3 main things that are your themes. Also, it amazes me the random, weird things that you see in your day to day. Just be aware of how your viewers will perceive what you’re snapping, and also don’t forget that you may have coworkers following you too; they may take a quick screen grab so beware. Also, note that your direct conversations through Snapchat can be saved by your friends simply by holding your finger down on the text for a couple of seconds; pictures sent directly from your phone to your friends on Snapchat can be saved too, and without you knowing. Yikes!

From there, you’ll start to build a following, as long as you market yourself on your other channels. Tell people that you’re on Snapchat via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and by whatever channels you use. Simply include a picture of your snapcode and people can add you, well, in a snap. If you don’t, you’ll have no friends and well, you’ll be snapping to yourself.

What If I just want to source off of Snapchat?

Hey, down to business. There’s nothing wrong with that, and Snapchat holds many sourcing possibilities. Directories are even out there with new users added all the time. Here are some directories to start with.

Looking for those coveted Android, Front-end, Ruby Developers, and a bag of chips? Here’s a running list of 100+ Developers and counting. DevSnap There’s an “about” section that lets the Developer note whatever they like. Most list quick skills like “Full Stack Javascript Engineer with a love of design.”

Focus on campus recruiting? A lot of universities are on Snapchat. Want to see what they’re doing? Check out Your Higher Ed Snapchat Directory

You can also go the old school route and search #Snapchat on Twitter, Vine, Instagram, and Reddit. On Google+ go to Google+ Snapchat User Names where you can find 92k+ members.  On Facebook, you can go to Facebook.com/WhatsYourSnapchat where 5k+ people have liked the page and add their snapcodes.

I’m trying out a free app called Ghostcodes. You can search through categories to find users, and categories range from viral stars to artists to travel to techies.

How should I approach someone on Snapchat that may be a good candidate?

Snapchat, in my honest opinion, is just another channel to get to know someone, and for them to get to know you. If a potential candidate has friended you on Snapchat then don’t ruin it by turning right around and messaging the person about a job, or congratulations you’ve just brought LinkedIn spam to Snapchat, and you might get unfriended.

What if one of your Snapchat friends happens to be a software engineer and talks about how much she hates her boss? Regardless of her open candor, if I was sourcing, I might reply with a friendly comment like “that sucks,” and see if she replies back. If you’re talking about sourcing every now and again and she’s checking out your snaps then odds are she may reach out to you. Build a relationship first before you stick a job in someone’s face.

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What type of content do I post on Snapchat?

Think about this for a minute. DMR said that 30% of Snapchat users use it because their parents don’t use it. 35% of Snapchat users use it because their content disappears. If you are in the teenage to early 20’s demographic, then you know what type of content to post, mainly because you don’t care, and you’re going to do whatever you want because your parents aren’t watching what you’re snapping.

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Now, let’s say you’re between the ages of 30-50, you’re married, and you may have kids in varying age brackets. Do you think the younger, 30% of Snapchat users want to see your kids? Or, the next demographic set up from that group? Sure, your kids look super cute with the puppy dog filter, or with a demon that shoots fire out its mouth. However, does the demographic that you’re targeting want to see the content that you’re marketing? And yes, this counts as marketing. Maybe so, maybe not. Snapchat is the ‘the story of you,’ and you’ll build up a network of friends based on that story. Just think about the content you’re putting out, and based on the demographic that you want to attract.

There is good news. According to MarketingDIVE, in 2015, Snapchat grew its 18-24 base by 56%, while its 25-34-year-old users increased 103% and, most notably, its over-35 user base grew 84% according to comScore. According to Snapchat, 12% of its almost 50 million daily users in the U.S. are between 35 and 54. Identify the demographic that you’re trying to attract with your snap stories, and always keep that in mind.

Can you use third party apps in conjunction with Snapchat to enhance your story? 

I used to use 2 different third party apps with Snapchat. I used Over for editing pictures, and then I’d use UploadNRoll to post on Snapchat. Well, don’t do it kids because Snapchat will eventually lock you out of your account for using third party apps. Possibly forever. Don’t worry though because other apps aren’t necessary. Snapchat has a feature called Memories. You can save snaps into Memories for later, or you can take saved pics from your phone and load and edit them straight onto Snapchat. Voila, no third-party apps needed.

If you’re not into creating stories, characters, or shooting videos of yourself with a panda face, then you probably won’t like Snapchat. If you’re even somewhat creative and don’t mind selfies and such, then game on. If you need help in the creative department just do some research on YouTube, follow a handful of creative snappers from a blog post or Ghostcodes, and inspiration will come. Enjoy.

To learn more, find @RecruitRadical on Snapchat & most channels.

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Jennifer Davis

 Jennifer Davis is the Sr. Director, People Strategies & HR Technology at Epsilon, the global leader in creating connections between people and brands, supporting 15 of the top 20 global brands and recognized by Ad Age as the #1 World CRM/Direct Marketing Network.

Jennifer has 17 years’ experience in talent acquisition and has run recruiting operations for Epsilon across North America before moving into her current global-facing role.

Jennifer has developed, managed and lead third party vendor management programs and initiatives throughout her career, most recently focusing on enterprise-wide initiatives such as creating a best-in-class recruiting group in India from the ground up, overseeing post-M&A integration and workforce planning, candidate experience programs and HR Technology selection & implementation.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter @RecruitRadical or connect with her on LinkedIn.