Talent Circles

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Instagram: A Great Way to Attract College Students

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

We’re right at the beginning of one of the most important times of year for recruiters: college career recruiting season. While students are heading back to the dorms and the classrooms, recruiters are ordering promo items, packing up their cars for career fairs and spending their days talking to 20-somethings who will soon enter the workforce. With this new recruiting season comes the question of how you’ll engage your future talent pool. You know they’re mobile savvy social media users, but did you know that Instagram is leading the pack in terms of where they’re spending their social media time?

The last Piper-Jaffrey survey helps us hone in on which social networks college students are using. It found that Facebook and Twitter are still used, but Instagram is where it’s at for this group. Thirty-two percent reported that Instagram is their most-used social network, making it the leader by almost 10 percent.

If you’re ready to reach college students who are currently exploring internship opportunities or a post-graduation job, use these three tactics to reach them where they are.

Make them “heart” you

If you want to gain this crowd as Instagram followers, you’ve got to give them a reason to “heart” you, which is Instagram speak for liking someone’s photo.  Think outside the box and share photos that are clever, funny, touching (such as from a community service effort) and interesting. Be sure to use hashtags that will help potential candidates find you, leading them to heart the photo and then follow through to your profile to click follow.

Keep it real

It can be tough to strike the right balance between corporate and fun or branded and candid, but finding it is key. This generation wants authenticity, and your company’s Instagram account is the perfect place to gibe it to them. Stay true to your company culture and help them understand who you are as an organization through images.

Make yourself available

Many recruiters don’t necessarily see Instagram as a two-way communication tool, but it absolutely can be. Rather than just posting photos and occasionally responding to comments, use Instagram to source candidates by searching hashtags and commenting on photos when it makes sense. You can also direct message on Instagram and get the conversation started. While it’s not the most convenient place for conversations to take place, the end goal is to get them connected to your talent network, so you may want to think of Instagram simply as a starting point. Of course, you should always respond to comments on your pictures and even solicit questions or direct messages.

One thing that is for certain is that social networking is here to stay, whether it’s taking place on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. The networks may change, but the principle of engagement stays the same. Build relationships that encourage trust and drive the candidate to commit the ultimate recruitment buying decision of joining your talent network community. The rest is just details. You can check out these 10 Instagram accounts for employment branding to get your creative recruiting juices flowing.

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell. 


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