Sep 18, 2021
Instagram is a picture medium, and it was designed for photo hobbyists. Since Food service industry can showcase their talents, most of the restaurants maintain an Instagram page to showcase their new creation, create customer engagement and attract new customers. But Instagram is never intended to be used as a hiring platform. Facebook also was not initially designed for other than social networking. But then they developed other products like business pages, marketplace and allowed businesses to bring everything together. But Instagram is still not.
Also, Instagram was designed to like posts and forward or share with others. So, most Instagram users tend to scroll the posts rather than spending time to open the post and read the post description.
We surveyed around 600 Instagram hiring posts and found these common mistakes by companies trying to attract the talent to join their teams on Instagram platform.
Not mentioning the job title in the job post (Most job seekers in Hospitality industry want to apply for relevant jobs. So, if the job post mentions about the job, it will help them to decide if they want to apply or not)
Link in the Instagram post (Instagram does not allow links clickable. So, job seeker is less likely to apply using that link)
Not using the hashtags (Your regular customers may know where your restaurant is. But a job seeker will use search functionality to see who is hiring and your job ad will not show up in search if you don’t use hashtags)
Using inconsistent colors and fonts (A big no no is using white font on light background. Please double check with your staff and your regulars and get their feedback if you still want to use this color combination)
Lengthy personal emails to apply for the job (Job seekers need to switch between screens and type the address manually)
Too much text in the picture (when the job ad is not an executive summary of job post but rather a paragraph, remember to check how it looks on different screens. Again, not many job seekers will be interested to go through everything when you are talking about how great your company culture etc.)
QR code image on the job post (No way to turn camera to see what’s on screen to open the link in browser to apply for the job)
Video ad with just one slide with some animation of fade. (Network delay can slow the post to appear and fade affect can be distracting and job seeker may lose attention and move on)
Link in bio/profile (Insta generation too impatient for going to bio. And if you use linktree, you need to make sure it opens correctly, and first link is about the job application)
Apply through our Facebook (No guarantee that job seeker will understand which id is linked to what)
Not mentioning the location in the job ad picture (Since Instagram is not location specific, people from overseas can apply and you don’t want to spend time on unwanted job applications)
Email to request an application (Again, you are asking job seeker to switch between applications)
Too much content on screen (Please remember, Instagram is a visual media. Please be concise on what you want the job seeker to see that makes them curious and avoid filling it up with icons and pictures. Please don’t try to showcase your MS Paint skills in the job ad. Please leave it to professionals or use free sites like Conva to get the right image)
Using your products in the background (You are trying to sell your company culture to lure job seeker to apply. Not your products. So, try to highlight your company work culture)
Using nonworker picture (Job seeker would want to see themselves in your workplace. Not a customer who is enjoying a fresh food).
Big companies rarely post Insta job posts because they know its not the right platform (Food for thought to save some bucks)
Job post call for action is 'visit to apply' but no address provided in the picture forcing job seeker to open the bio (About a third of hospitality employers want the job seekers to show up at the business. If you think that, then please make sure you mention your physical address in the job post)
Not using separate email like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (Regular email like email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org etc will attract spam and your email provider can mark the new job seeker applications also as spam and you may miss the right candidate)
Asking to call on a number but Instagram is not clickable and job seeker has to manually enter the number. (Also, you never know when a job seeker will check your ad and if they see it after hours when your business is closed, they likely not remember to call you next day and move on to other job ads)
Instagram doesn't allow to apply directly. (So, job seekers don’t have any convenience when applying for jobs)
Job post pictures just saying, 'Hiring now' 'Join our team' and nothing else on them (Forcing job seeker to open the job post and read. Even after that, they have to use another application to reach out like email or external site etc).
Flashy images which fades out and fades in less than 2 seconds (Very distracting and not sure how many such job posts get responses)
Using too many emojis to highlight some aspects of the job (But lengthy posts are not thoroughly read by job seekers)
Asking job applicants to DM to apply (But Instagram DM does not allow resumes and CVs to be attached. They can only share pictures and that will be difficult for you to manage as you need to save the details manually in your system).
Not using multiple channels for sourcing good applicants like job boards (You can consider our job board, www.HospitalityJobs.com, where you can post unlimited jobs for $9.99 per month subscription)
So, what are the best practices of sourcing job seekers from Instagram? Well, first of all, size does not matter when it comes to sourcing the right applicants. Facebook and Instagram may have wide reach but both platforms are not built for sourcing talent. So, casting the net becomes more like fishing in unknowns places rather than targeting the right pool. Generic job boards like Monster, SnagaJob, Career Builder, ZipRecruiter can get the applicants because of their band names. Niche job boards like Hcareers, PoachedJobs, HospitalityJobs.com tend to get the right applicants as they build the network of talent pools over the years by providing career advice and jobs. So, chance of getting the right candidate dramatically increases when the job is posted on niche job boards, and they usually tend to be cheaper than other sources because of their size and operations.
That being said, if your organization strategy is to post ads on Instagram, at least please make sure you follow below steps to get the maximum response:
In the job ad picture, make sure the hiring title, job title, mode of communication preferred, and the business location are mentioned. This is important because, not everyone may get the post forwarded. Some people share screenshots too. In that case, at least the information is in one place.
Tag the picture with the city and state so that the Instagram search engine can display results for someone looking in their city
In the job post description or comments, make sure the hashtags of the job are included. For example, #nowhiring #hiringnow #serverhiring #bartenderhiring #restaurantjobs #orlandojobs. These tags are derived from the points mentioned above. This is very important because your job applicant need not be your customer who follows you on Instagram. Most of the job seekers tend to search for jobs using search function or rely on Instagram to show them relevant ads. But Instagram tend to show all the jobs, not just jobs in particular industry. So, job seekers relay on search function which works with hashtags.
Write your job description as if you are pitching it to a new person who has no clue that your business exists. The more detailed, the better.
Provide more than one communication channel. Since Instagram does not allow clickable links in posts, all the communication links tend to be shown as pictures. This will force job seeker to type the details manually on his/her device. So, allow them to contact you through DM also. Again, please remember that DM does not allow job seeker to send you an attachment. They can only chat with you.
Try to source the applications from various sources and zero in on which source best works for which role over the time. Typically, the FOH and BOH roles are better sourced from job boards whereas executive jobs have high success rate of sourcing from LinkedIn. Again, lot of factors affect the way you job ad reaches the applicants. So, keep multiple channels open and overtime, zero in on which works best for your hiring needs.
Even though we did not intend this article to be this big, we could not avoid thinking how big tech is influencing the sourcing decisions for the Food Service industry but there is no education on how to get the maximum results from these platforms. Please do consider HospitalityJobs.com as one of your sourcing channels as we offer flat rate monthly subscription service which fits with your budget needs and source of great talent. Happy Hiring.