Instagram is worth a thousand words. It makes your life better looking (than it is, usually). It’s where foodies boast their eats, travelers rave about their jaunts, and fashionistas flaunt their style.

As your eyes roll past that perfectly composed shot of kale salad, keep in mind that Instagramers engage with businesses at a rate 10 times higher than Facebook and 84 times higher than Twitter. Here’s how your recruiters should be using that engagement to attract top candidates.

Instagram in an instant

Get a snapshot of how you and your team can leverage Instagram to grow your staffing firm.

Target candidates

Millennials are Instagram’s biggest fans. You’ll find 55% of 18-29-year-olds on it.

Focus your use

Take advantage of Instagram’s visual appeal to develop employer brand. Instagram has a wider range of moods than Snapchat (which is more whimsical). Your visual temperatures can go from serious to sentimental to droll without it feeling off-target.

Best practices for Instagram recruitment

Aim for the following to build your employer brand and engage followers:

  • Link to company website in your agency’s profile (your recruiters’ own professional accounts should do this, too)
  • Take a lot of good pictures, choose one, and make it better
  • Engage with followers
    • Share their images
    • Comment on their posts
    • Reply to their comments

Recruit on Instagram

Now, let’s really dig in and see how you can use the platform to come up with recruiting gold.

Client takeover

You’ve heard of employee takeovers to help with your employer brand, so why not consider a client takeover? For major hiring campaigns, consider letting your client take up your Instagram real estate to help promote their employer brand and yours. Collaborate on a visual story that entices potential candidates to reach out.


Seek passive talent through a Google Search

Through some nifty search hacks, you can find passive candidates.

Just do a little keyword sleuthing:

  • Copy and paste the example into Google’s search bar 
    • Example: (position) (city)
  • Replace position and city with your specifics.
  • Check out Google operators to create specific searches for your needs

Post job ads

Tell followers about openings through video or photos.

Use a tool like Canva to create hiring images. You can easily make one just like this ad from Fresh Concept for a social community manager. Make sure your recruiters receive the image so they can share on their Instagram accounts as well.


Video job posts can do double-duty like this one from Colorado-based TEKsystems. It reveals the funner parts of office life while letting followers know of available positions through its use of hashtags #wearehiring and #tekcareers.


Instagram is best for high engagement

Instagram has 10 times the engagement rate of Facebook. Its latest offering of Instagram stories (that is a direct challenge to Snapchat) allows you to see who views your videos. This means knowing who is interested. This means targeted direct messages.

One of the best ways to engage with current and potential followers is through the hashtag. Unlike Twitter, it’s okay to use five or more hashtags. Include the following kinds of hashtags:

  • Topic or industry relevant hashtags like #tech, #developer, or #recruiting
  • Existing hashtags like #tbt, #wearehiring, or #workwithus
  • Trending hashtags, as relevant

Instagram basics and glossary

Just starting out? This glossary will orient you.

Direct Message

A private share of a photo to selected Instagram users.


Built-in photo enhancements. These give your photos that polished, sharable feel.


Followers are folks who have subscribed to see your posts. Instagram has 189 million followers.


Hashtags are words designated by the pound symbol (#), as in #recruitment. They mark an image and file it under the tagged category.


Instagram Stories

Similar to Snaps on Snapchat, these are photos and videos that are available for 24 hours to your followers.


You can tag a candidate or potential candidate in two ways:

  • You can tag a photo directly
  • You can tag a person in the comments or caption using the at symbol (@) and their username

Want to up your social recruiting game even more? Check out our definitive guide on Facebook recruiting.