Best Practices for Recruiting on Instagram

Tim Bremer Aug. 16, 2018

People’s attention is on Instagram. The social network reached one billion active users in June 2018, more than 60% of which open the app daily. By contrast, LinkedIn has just over 300 million active users, who are using it much less frequently. Many companies are only now discovering the great potential of Instagram as a tool for recruiting.

Social recruiting on Instagram is rapidly gaining traction, and here’s why:

Attention and Awareness

Instagram’s 1 Billion users represent a huge talent pool that you can utilize to find the candidate that fits best for your company. The large number of active users (67% of all 18-29 year-old’s in the US use Instagram) represent possible leads and a great opportunity to grow your brand awareness.

Brand perception and image

Every brand wants to establish a certain image or culture. Because Instagram heavily relies on visuals, this can easily be achieved using photos, videos, and captions. Companies can easily showcase the work environment, perks and more through a post - making sure they convey the image they want to portray and get people interested in open positions. Today’s candidates coming to an interview will check out your social media channels before going anywhere near your website, and the first point of contact is the most important one.

Salesforce, adidas and eivy are putting in a lot of effort into their recruiting on social media.


Brands on Instagram can take a way more personal approach to communicating with customers or candidates and go beyond the professional facade of LinkedIn profiles to create a more personal connection. When done right, outreach through Instagram can seem friendlier and more personal than a templated message through LinkedIn. Candidates can in one click visit your business page to inform themselves and get an impression about the company.


Instagram is owned by Facebook, which means that the two networks share the same ad platform, with advanced targeting options. Looking for a 18-25 year-old Computer Science student from Berlin who works part-time at Starbucks? No problem. Targeted job ads in the form of posts or stories present a great opportunity and are underpriced right now. For example, using ads you can easily guide possible candidates to your recruiting chatbot on Facebook Messenger, where they can request more info or even apply to the role.

Click to message ads on Instagram that lead to a Facebook messenger threadThere’s little margin between an ad that people will just scroll by and one that looks good and catches attention. Try to be creative about it and do something out of the box, while still being authentic. The best ad on Instagram is the one that doesn’t look like an advert and blends in with the other posts in people’s feeds.


When looking for a potential new hire, not only their prior experience is important. Ideally, the candidate should fit in well with the rest of the team and identify with the culture. Their Instagram account offers first insight into the personality of both the candidate and the brand. Use this advantage to increase your applicant-to-hire ratio and spend more time with the candidates that are actually interesting for you.

All these factors make Instagram compelling for recruiters, but how can you utilize them to attract and find the best candidates for your company?

Regularly publish high-quality content

Instagram rewards consistency and quality. Post a photo every day and create some stories to ensure staying relevant and getting attention. But keep in mind: Pixelated stock photos won’t do the trick. You want to portray quality and attention to detail, and your audience values that. Make sure your captions are interesting and provide some kind of value to readers - that may be information, advice, offers or exclusive insights. You can also include a call to action, for example to pipe people to your website or chatbot where they can then easily get more information or even submit an application.

Use all of the features

Instagram is one of the fastest iterating social networks right now, with a new feature or product being released every other month. The big launch of IG’s long-form video platform – IGTV – rattled some cages and opened up new possibilities for both creators and brands.

Instagram is a very diverse platform, using all these features makes sense.

IGTV, Business profiles, DMs, Stories

Engage with your audience

Being successful on Instagram is all about the engagement. When someone comments on your post, they will very much appreciate a fast and kind reply. Searching for content related to your field is a great way to build a network and draw attention to your account.

IG also has a Direct Message feature that you can use to answer questions or even reach out to candidates. DM’s are the new email and a great way to get hold of someone.

Polish your Bio

An account’s Bio (or description) is usually the first impression a visitor gets when coming to your page. Make sure that the impression lasts and remains positive. Adding a short introduction in the first line is like saying “Hello!” to your visitors. After that, including your branded hashtag, ways to contact you or another call-to-action is a generally a good idea. No Bio is the same; it’s unique to your brand, so make sure that it’s accurate and explains who you are and what you do. Try to consider the needs of your visitors; talk about what you can do for them instead of only about yourself.

Use Stories Highlights to showcase specific content

Instagram Stories alone has more active users than Snapchat. They’re a great way to share casual content or behind-the-scenes with your audience. Normally, Stories disappear after 24 hours. However, you can group and pin them to your profile so that people can watch a set of specific stories later.


  •   Create constantly
  •   Be proactive and reactive
  •   Include employees in your strategy

This article was last updated on November 26th 2019.

Sources: Statista, brandwatch, sproutsocial

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