Marketing Formula Series: Using Instagram for Recruiting

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Instagram Shows the Softer Side of Your Culture

Are you using Instagram to recruit and engage top talent? You should be.

Is your team using Instagram to engage with prospective and current employees? If not – you could be missing out on one of the most engaging social media tools available today!

Instagram is the fastest growing photo sharing service since Flickr. It is also the first iPhone app to reach a one billion dollar valuation. When it first launched, it earned the coveted Editors Choice recommendation inside Apple’s App Store. Its ability to make ordinary photos look like works of art has endeared it to over 100 million users. Now owned by Facebook, Instagram’s importance will only continue to grow.

Instagram & HR:

As HR professionals, building an Instagram profile that showcases your company culture and employment value proposition is one of the strongest ways to tell potential recruits why they would want to work for your company. It can also be a great tool to get the word out to existing staff about programs and services that are available to them; ultimately, Instagram can help increase employee participation and pride.

The first question HR professionals ask when considering Instagram is what type of photos they should share.

Photo Sharing Do & Don’ts:


  • Share “behind the scenes” photos that tell your company story
  • Company lifestyle photos (ex: office amenities or employment perks, location)
  • Tell the story behind the people. Who, what, why.
  • DON’T

  • Constantly post product photos
  • Even small enterprises have regular opportunities to share photos with prospective and current staff. The first step is to consider the company values you want to promote and how you can capture them in a photo or photo caption. You want viewers to gain an understanding of what matters to your company. Done well it will help them self-identify with your organizational values. For example, if your company is committed to serving your community through staff volunteering, then share photos of staff helping in the community. Explain in the photo caption why this action matters. In addition to promoting your company values, make sure to show your softer side as well.

    3 Ways to Show Your Company’s Softer Side:

    1. Events:

    Most companies have lots happening that can make compelling photo content and tell an important story.

    • Staff birthday party photos humanize your company
    • Important milestones like new product launches, reaching sales goals, or winning an award can all be captured in photos to show that your company celebrates success.
    • Training seminars for staff show that you invest in people, and may even get more staff coming out to events
    • 2. Products:

      If your company produces products share photos of it being used by happy customers or how it is made. By telling these “behind the scene” stories, your company becomes more accessible to job applicants. Additionally, existing employees will take pride in where they work and why their product matters, which can reduce turnover and improve performance.

      3. Stories:

      If you provide services, use photos to tell the stories behind those services instead. Consider sharing who your product helps and how it makes a difference. The photo does not need to be an inspirational work of art. In fact, a photo of a smiling customer can go a long way if you use the photo caption to explain the story behind the smile.

      Instagram: Still Need Convincing?

      There are some fantastic companies already using Instagram to promote their company. Check out some of the following accounts for more inspiration.


      Also, check out this great article from KISSmetrics The 5 Biggest Misconceptions About Using Instagram for Business. It has some great examples of companies using Instagram to promote their corporate culture.


      Have fun with Instagram. Your activities should make people feel connected to your company and want to work there. If your photos wouldn’t make you want to send in a resume, step back and re-evaluate them.

      Ready to sign up for an account and start snapping pics? Tell us in the comments below, what is the first photo you will show to prospective applicants?

    Michael Mahoney
    With a background in a multitude of fields from HR, marketing, strategy, and mobile application development, Michael has a unique perspective on how social media is changing business today. Due to his passion for social media, Michael has been featured in HR Professional Magazine and is regularly asked to comment on industry news. Look for Michael’s blog posts about top trends in social media to achieve results in the HR space.

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    • Thanks for the awesome post Michael. For those college/university readers, I highly recommend using Instagram to show what life on your campus is like. University life is a major decision factor a student investigates when choosing a school. The old phrase a picture is worth a 1,000 words is absolutely true! Additionally, the fabulous thing about instagram for HR or College/University Admissions/Career Centres is it is easily tied to twitter & Facebook = good bang for your buck in terms of connecting social media properties & generating content.

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