How to Recruit Top Millennial Talent Using Instagram (Really!)

by Emily Oswalt on September 15, 2016


Workplace culture has long played a key role in boosting employee productivity and improving engagement. Companies with engaged employees outperform those with disengaged employees by up to 202%, reports Stackhands. Now, employers are also discovering that workplace culture is key to recruiting and retaining top talent. Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to jump ship and go work for the competition. Even more surprising? Peers and camaraderie are the top reason employees go the extra mile– not financial incentives like raises or bonuses.

The Struggle to Attract Millennial Talent

If your company is struggling to recruit and retain top Millennial talent, the problem could be misconceptions about your workplace culture. A perception that you sacrifice employee happiness for short-term revenue growth or only pay lip service to employee needs could handicap your ability to recruit and retain the best employees.

There’s no secret recipe for building amazing workplace culture overnight. You need to invest in your employees, cultivate an environment that aligns with core values, and find great people that compliment your business. But once you’ve built an amazing workplace culture there is a secret to letting the world know just how great it truly is. That secret weapon? Your employees.

The Secret Weapon to Attracting Amazing Talent

Prospective hires are far more likely to believe what your current employees have to say about your workplace than any HR marketing spiel. In fact, the great things your current employees have to say about your company could actually help you attract amazing talent in the first place. How? Social media advocacy, of course!

Back in August we talked about the importance of employee social media advocacy for building more authentic relationships with your customers and clients. But did you know that employee social media advocacy is just as important for relationship building with prospective hires? In just a few Instagram posts, your employees can provide real insight into what a “day in the life” is like at your company and what they love about your workplace culture. And no, you don’t have to be a “hip startup” with in-office Ping-Pong tables and beanbag chairs to harness the power of Instagram.

Here’s how your employees can use Instagram to provide insight into your workplace culture:

1. Build excitement around company camaraderie.

Celebrating employee birthdays, personal achievements and other milestones fosters a sense of camaraderie. Zappos employees frequently post photos from employee appreciation events, like the two Instagrams Zappos employee Dawnya Baker shared on her second work anniversary with the company. She used hashtags like #bestcompany, #culture and #ilovemycoworkers for widespread reach as well as Zappos-specific tags like #zappiversary and #zapponians.



2. Share day-to-day life.

Sure, treating the team to a taco Tuesday lunch may be a common occurrence at your workplace, but for someone who doesn’t work at your company, this could be big news. Encourage employees to share images of day-to-day workplace life, be that a surprise coffee or cubicle-balloon takeover. 



Struggling to build sharing momentum? Take a page out of GE’s playbook and the conversation started by sharing employee photos on your company’s own Instagram feed. GE has a dedicated @gecareers account that features images of office life from around the world, like this photo of the Dubai team doing lunchtime yoga or the Prague team taking a lunchtime ice cream break.



3. Don’t worry about “big” moments.

Co-working company WeWork just had a huge employee retreat that the company's employees built a lot of excitement about via Instagram. Admittedly we’d be posting about a company retreat that included time relaxing on a lake in the summer sun or a surprise concert.



But it’s not all big moments for WeWork. Employees also share photos from the more casual moments that capture their passion for the job even without an impromptu concert, like goofing around the office with coworkers.


Bottom line:

Workplace culture sets the tone for everything from how supervisors interact with team members to how employees treat customers. When employees share real snapshots from their work lives on Instagram, they provide valuable insight into company culture that’s key to boosting Millennial talent recruitment and retention.


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Emily Oswalt

As social media manager at 21 Handshake, my passion of social media shines through to bring awareness to your brand. From the latest hashtag trend to engaging influencers, my desire is provide the best content to get your target audience talking online.