Social media has become as essential to modern recruiting as newspaper want ads were back in the day. Especially if any of your target talent pool is under say, age 40 (workforce majority). You may be feeling like your team should get more value from your social recruiting efforts, though. Or, just wishing your recruiters could use it more strategically. This is where hashtags can help.
What’s the purpose of hashtags?
Hashtags are created with the # symbol and any word or short phrase, as in #JobOpening. They’re used to categorize content in posts on most social platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. When you include a hashtag in your post, that post and its content are linked to all other posts on that platform which share the same hashtag. In essence, they’re a free and simple way to stretch your reach beyond your own followers. And, studies have shown that tagging your posts with hashtags will drive higher engagement, whether it’s more shares or more impressions/views, with that post.
Using trending recruiting hashtags
Adding recruiting hashtags that are trending to your posts can draw attention to your message. To decide which tags to use, start by researching what’s popular on several websites, including www.best-hashtags.com. Recently, the top five recruiting hashtags popular across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook were:
Use these hashtags to help candidates find your job postings and also specific aspects of your company. If you offer employee wellness perks or have onsite daycare, include hashtags like #fitnessatwork and #childcare in your posts so they’re found and seen by candidates searching the social platform specifically for these benefits.
It’s also a good idea to research trending hashtags by the specific platforms you’re using in your social recruiting campaign. For instance, on Twitter, the hashtags #nowhiring and #jobs are usually trending. To use them to engage potential candidates, post your position title and a short job description, then include a link to the application and the hashtag of your choice.
Keep in mind that what’s trending changes frequently, so you’ll need to check often and use new hashtags as they become popular.
Create employer brand hashtags for recruitment marketing
Here’s another hashtag strategy: Create your own hashtag(s) to draw attention to your employer brand. It could be about your company in general or call out specific aspects of your brand that distinguish your organizations from others. Unique hashtags can showcase an enduring cornerstone of your employer brand or your employment experience. For example, Capital One posts photos and snippets which give candidates an inside look at working there with the hashtag #LifeAtCapitalOne. Adult beverages leader Brown-Forman illustrates its commitment to drinking responsibly by posting information and news with the hashtag #BrownFormanResponsibility.
Hashtags are also effective in creating buzz around shorter-term TA initiatives, such as seasonal hiring or campus recruiting. The key is to create hashtags around aspects of your employer brand that are of interest to your candidates
Five tips on the use of hashtags in recruitment marketing:
- Do your research to make sure the employer brand hashtags you create aren’t already in use for a different purpose.
- Limit your use to one or just a few at a time. (Remember all the brand confusion when Coca-Cola introduced Coke Zero and Coke Life?)
- Integrate them with your entire recruitment marketing efforts, including your careers site.
- Depending on the nature of your hashtag, you can encourage employees to use them in their social networks as brand ambassadors.
- Focus on authenticity in your posts – that’s a high priority for candidates.
Hashtags are a two-way street
Though most of your recruiting hashtag work will be for outreach to candidates, think about following hashtags to explore new talent pools, too. Keeping up with social media conversations with niche groups can give you insight into their priorities and other contextual data that could help inform your recruiting strategies and communication with them.
How to use recruiting hashtags like a pro
Like any recruitment marketing tool, hashtags come with their own set of do’s and don’ts. Use these best practices to guide your recruiting hashtags strategy:
- Keep them short, simple and intuitive for a broad audience
- Use a blend of branding and job-related hashtags in posts
- Check your hashtags for an unintended double meaning or use by an unrelated organization before posting them.
- Use them sparingly – not more than one or two in a post, and only for a few select topics.
Finally, do use them in posts regularly to keep the conversation going. You’ll find that when hashtags are done well, they can help build your talent pools and accelerate your hiring.