Hate 'em or love 'em, hashtags are an important part of any social recruiting strategy. Whether it's boosting the reach of your job posting or targeting a specific market, adding the right social recruiting hashtag to your post can help you get the job done.
If you didn't grow up with Twitter, though, hashtags can be a bit bewildering. After all, it's not like you'd ever use them in a real-life conversation (although if you're wondering how ridiculous that'd sound, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake have got you covered).
Luckily, there are a few simple rules that, when followed, make it way easier to use hashtags successfully. The results for your social recruiting are definitely worth it: hashtags can help you increase the quantity and quality of your candidate pool, as well get the word out more quickly about your open positions.
[Related: Social Media Secrets for Recruiters]
Here's everything you need to know about recruiting hashtags, demystified.
The symbol formerly known as pound
Hashtags - the pairing of "#" and a word or phrase added to your social post - are used on most social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and are the most popular means of categorizing content on social media.
Using a hashtag links your post and its content to all other posts that include the same hashtag. So, for example, a search for #GDRecruit on Twitter brings up Tweets not only from @GDforEmployers but also others who are talking about Glassdoor Recruit, including @brennachild of the @WashingtonPost and @SmashFly.
Since using a hashtag in your post groups it with all other posts that mention the same hashtag, it's a straightforward way to boost reach beyond your own followers. Which is also why doing your research before using a hashtag is so important. You always want to double check what conversation you're joining online!
Hashtag do's and don'ts
While best practices vary from social platform to social platform (e.g. on Facebook and Twitter, a maximum of two hashtags is best while on Instagram, you can use as many as you want up to 10), there are a few guidelines that apply across the board.
Keep in mind when doing research on hashtags or brainstorming new ones to use in your campaigns that simplicity is key. If your hashtag isn't intuitive to search for or easy to use, people will not be able to find it nor will they want to use it in their posts.
- Conduct keyword research to create hashtags that earn reach
- Mix branded and career-related hashtags in your posts
- Use hashtags that are relevant to your company or the position you're advertising
- Use acronyms if your hashtag is too long
- Get too long or too clever
- Use more hashtags than words
- Hashtag everything
- Use a hashtag without understanding what it's used for
- Forget to proofread your hashtag for alternate meanings
Common recruiting #hashtags
A compiled list of all recruiting hashtags would be incredibly long, since there are so many industry-specific, location-specific and job-specific ones you can use. To get the most value out of using hashtags in your campaign, you need to research which ones your competitors are using and which ones drive the most engagement for you.
But, as a quick reference, here's the short list of the most common recruiting hashtags:
City names (like #SanFrancisco or #Pittsburgh)
Industry keywords (like #Tech)
Job title keywords (like #graphicdesigner)
One organization using social hashtags to boost their recruiting is T-Mobile, who cites social as a huge part of their employer brand. The company created the hashtag #BeMagenta for their employees to use in social posts showing interested job seekers what it's like to work at the company.
Another company using hashtags to boost their employer brand is TripAdvisor. The company created the hashtag #GoTripAdvisor to share their values and as a way for employees to contribute stories of what it's like to work at the company. Employees also use it for meetups, sharing authentic moments from their day.
The common theme of these two examples? The right hashtag can turn your employees into advocates and that, fueled by their enthusiasm alone, they'll contribute valuable content that can help job seekers get an inside look into what it's like to work for you.
The last word: recruiting with content
Whether it's passive or active candidates you're going after, a key element of attracting them to your company is sharing content that's valuable. The worst thing you can do is use your social accounts like a giant job board, which comes across as spammy.
Curating a large network takes time. To build trust, you need to share content that's relevant to your followers and their network - including industry trends, company news, case studies and more that showcase your mission, values and benefits.