Employer branding should remain a top priority in 2017. Whether you’re a tech company like Google or not, it should be part of your marketing strategy to help attract the best of the best in your industry. 2016 was the year that a lot of companies broke out with their employer brand and leveraged social media more and more. It’s not just up to employees to use social media to recruit, but now it’s up to the employer. Owning your brand’s reputation is more important than ever and social recruiting allows companies to do so. While we could go on about how Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will continuously be the main three social media channels to leverage, the fact of the matter is your company should already be there. Let’s focus on two of the newer channels and what 2017 may have in store for companies leveraging them for social recruiting; I’m talking about Snapchat and Instagram and how they became game changers in the latter part of 2016.

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Let’s recap some of Instagram’s main events and features from 2016.  In 2016, Instagram became similar to Snapchat with certain capabilities.

  • “Stories” launched in August 2016.
  • Ability to tag companies and users and drive users to outside links
  • Live video launched in Winter 2016.
  • Hands-free ability (press record and that’s it, no need to hold the button like Snapchat)

Focusing on Instagram Stories in 2017 will be a game changer for social recruiting. Users and companies will be able to drive people to websites outside of Instagram. That means you could potentially share a job requisition (if your careers page is mobile friendly) or better yet, give candidates a reason to put your company top of mind. If people swipe up on an Instagram Story, you should be providing them with something of value. Try linking to a blog on your company’s website such as resume or job interviewing tips. If you use the “swipe up” capabilities, candidates may follow your company, message you or share the article with their network. It’s all about brand awareness.

You could leverage Instagram Stories for social recruiting in two ways. Have employees use Instagram Stories to share insight into what it’s like to work at your organization or what kind of people work there. Remember, people want to connect with people and ultimately, recruiting is a person-to-person interaction. Another way is to let your employees take over your Instagram by only using Instagram Stories. It’s quick and easy, plus the media (i.e. photos, videos) also disappear after a certain amount of time. If they ever leave the organization, you won’t have to look back on photos and remove them.

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A few things happened for Snapchat in 2016. People flocked to Snapchat and companies started to use it for branding purposes.

  • Companies using it as an employer or employee branding tool.
  • Spectacles launched.
  • Advertising on the “Discover” section was launched.

If you haven’t used Snapchat you’re missing out on targeting millennials and gen Z-ers because it isn’t just about sending it photos or videos – now you can use it to send text messages and make calls. Take it from Cisco, who launched their account in 2016. They changed the social recruiting game by using it to showcase their talent brand. People want to know who is working at an organization, and Cisco nails that concept. Sure, Snapchat does not provide any complex analytics for “organic content” (you get to see who viewed or screen-captured your photo or video), nor does it provide complex analytics if you purchase a filter (you see views and usage). The great thing about Snapchat is that it’s a branding tool, and Cisco recognized the importance of it and included it in their talent brand strategy.

If you're not on #Snapchat, you're missing out on #millennials. #socialrecruiting Click To Tweet

Two companies that use Snapchat completely differently for recruitment and employer branding are AOL and Cisco. Let’s take a look at their different strategies.


AOL was looking for new ways to promote diversity and talent among millennial women. They wanted to recruit on social media, which they did, but it was Snapchat that provided the most success.  Note: The Adweek article did not say how much AOL spent on advertising, and Snapchat does not disclose the price of advertising. Here are their results:

  • AOL ran two 10-second Snapchat videos in the “Discover” section – where a handful of publishers post daily content – and Live Stories.
  • “The campaign lifted application intent by 18 percent,” according to AdWeek.
  • “The week-long campaign reached 8 million users and generated 17 million views, according to Snapchat.”
  • “The brand awareness piece of the campaign on Snapchat is what was most important to AOL,” according to Senior Marketing Manager at AOL.


Undercover Recruiter Founder Jorgen Sundberg interviewed Cisco’s Social Media Manager and Lead for Talent Brand, Carmen Collins on how Cisco is using Snapchat. If you’re ready to use Snapchat for talent branding, here are some tips to follow if you’re getting your feet wet.

  • Know your audience. Cisco knew that Snapchat is age specific.
  • Understand that recruitment is a person-to-person initiative. Cisco showed their employees on their Snapchat account – they are the face of the company. People want to see themselves at an organization before applying for a job, so Cisco did exactly that. This creates an authentic representation of who works at Cisco.
  • Focus on the company as a whole. Since Cisco is a global organization, they assembled their ambassadors from various offices in the beginning to paint a true picture of the company.
  • Get organized. How do you manage 30 employees across the globe? Cisco built out a content calendar and gave employees access in order to work together to post exciting and relevant content that represented their talent brand. It also helped them with scheduling.
  • Keep your social media policy current. Make sure that employees who sign the policy understand it, especially those who you nominate to be part of your talent brand. Cisco wanted to give employees a certain amount of freedom, but keep them updated on new features.
  • Calculate ROI. It’s not easy to calculate, but Cisco focused on follower growth, as well as time watched for a Snapchat story.
#Snapchat for #recruitment? Check out these 6 #tips. #socialrecruiting Click To Tweet

If you’re looking to recruit millennials and gen Z-ers, then Snapchat and Instagram should be part of your talent brand strategy. Companies, like Cisco, AOL and HubSpot, spent 2016 experimenting on these two channels. Since both social media channels have launched new features, it may be something to add to your strategy in 2017. Take a cue from them, but also look to others in the talent branding and employee advocacy spaces to help you.

In 2016, we saw more collaboration in the employer brand space. From Facebook Groups to Slack chats and open sources, we hope to see this same level of teamwork among our peers in 2017. It’ll be exciting to see how companies start to leverage social networks like Snapchat and Instagram. If you haven’t gotten on board with collaborating in this field, check out Lever’s article on 11 Social Media Groups to Join for Recruiting and HR in 2017.