[Guide] Honing hashtags to drive your recruitment

pexels anna shvets 5325051 scaled 1 | [Guide] Honing hashtags to drive your recruitment
By Paula Smith | 15th March 2021 | 5 min read

We are no stranger to the use of hashtags on social media. Withstanding the last 14 years of technology evolution and new platform adoption, we have come a long way in our use of hashtags since 2007, but the initial motive is the same. Hashtags are a way to differentiate content into categories of key terms, which are now searchable phrases for all social users to continue to source relevant content for their interest.

Whether we like it or not, hashtags are here to stay and the statistics speak for themselves. For brands, utilising hashtags on social channels increases engagement and content performance by at least 50%. So can you really afford not to explore using hashtags in recruitment?

Amplify your recruitment reach with hashtags

We know that over 79% of candidates utilise social media in their job search and hashtags have the power to amplify content to interested parties, so utilising them as part of your recruitment strategy seems an obvious win. Campaigns such as #nowhiring on LinkedIn have only further expedited the utilisation and brand adoption of hashtags, and research shows that #jobs receives over 24.9m views per hour on LinkedIn. But with use at an all time high, how do you ensure your recruitment posts cut through the noise?

Hashtags can serve a variety of purposes in recruitment. From demonstrating your employer brand, highlighting your commitment to diversity and attracting candidates from niche skills sets or locations. It is the combination of volume hashtags and targeted key words that ultimately aids your performance and widens the visibility of your opportunities, giving you a more diverse applicant pool.

Choosing the right hashtags

As we have shared, hashtags are used for a variety of purposes, from brand and campaign, through to keywords and phrases. So what should you be using in recruitment?

Depending on the different initiatives you are pioneering in your organisation, there are a few different types of hashtags you can explore. Check out the list below for a few to get you started:

  • Culture hashtags highlight internal initiatives from within your organisation and make them more visible to the public. These can be used to great effect in recruitment to help showcase the company culture, your employer brand and employee insight which drives quality applicants through to your vacancies. An example of this would be where employees who are sharing their experiences on social platforms utilising a set hashtag such as #lifeatnetworx or #teamnetworx.
  • Brand hashtags are used to identify a brand name or a slogan. Commonly these are used more frequently for larger, well-known brands with volume recruitment initiatives, where demand to work at the company is high and people will be actively searching opportunities at the brand, for example #BBC.
  • Campaign hashtags are shorter-term hashtags that you may utilise to emphasise a particular campaign you are working on. This could include seasonal campaigning or specific initiatives, such as #networxatchristmas, or open days and recruitment events.
  • Keyword/content hashtags are one of the most commonly used hashtags to highlight certain key phrases or terms people might be interested in. For recruitment, this could include roles, #marketingmanager, or specific skill sets, qualities or qualifications, such as #leadership or #marketing. 
  • Location hashtags are a great way to capture interested applicants for specific locations. This can be particularly effective in areas where there are less candidates in your talent pool and you can reach slightly wider audiences by hashtagging neighbouring areas. Often to get the volume with location hashtags you need to utilise a large enough area, such as a city .e.g #londonjobs
  • Niche group hashtags are incredibly powerful and enable you to join a wave of conversation on social media. These hashtags enable you to reach segments of the recruitment market and diversify the talent you are attracting. This includes utilising hashtags such as #WomeninTech or highlighting key attributes of your recruitment strategy, such as #diversity. As competition for talent increases, this is one way to set yourself apart from competitors and also to attract passive candidates who may not have found your organisation yet.

Utilising platforms such as Hashtagify or RiteTag and researching the hashtag follower volume on LinkedIn will support you in selecting the right hashtags to drive your social recruitment campaigns. It is just as important to conduct thorough research for your hashtag strategy as it is for your SEO optimisation. The hashtags have to be popular and the search volume needs to be there to drive the performance you are looking for. If you are launching a company-specific hashtag, effective internal promotion needs to occur for it to work.

The when and where of hashtags

Your hashtag strategy is not one-size-fits-all. You need to understand the different platforms you are using for your recruitment and adapt them to suit the audience's preference. The same can be said for hashtag volume too and there is such a thing as too many hashtags!

  • LinkedIn (2-3 hashtags) - a lot of users follow hashtags on this platform so it is worth checking follower volume per hashtag by searching the hashtag yourself ahead of posting. Niche group hashtags and keyword phrases are commonly used and can substantially increase your audience.
  • Facebook (1-2 hashtags) - these can be used to drive brand awareness and traffic. Location hashtags can work particularly well on Facebook, alongside niche or keyword hashtags as users typically browse a feed on Facebook, as opposed to permanently following the hashtag. It’s important to feature in the relevant hashtag feeds to drive engagement / click-throughs.
  • Twitter (1-2 hashtags) - using two hashtags on Twitter is proven to elevate engagement and double traction per post, however, more than two can negatively impact the impressions and engagement you receive for your post. Role-related keywords, niche hashtags, and location hashtags work well for those searching for roles on Twitter.
  • Instagram (up to 30 hashtags) - a platform ripe for hashtag experimentation, Instagram is great for driving engagement, showcasing your employer brand and stepping out of the formal mould with your recruitment. This platform is best suited for cultural, trending hashtags and a great place to trial employee content too.

Deliver with impact using hashtags

Hashtags are a cost effective way to engage and interact with a new generation of talent. The benefits of social media for recruitment are already widely exploited and hashtags just enable you to take this one step further to reach more candidates and build your brand following in a more meaningful way. Strategically tagging your content ensures you remain relevant, front of mind and appear for the key phrases that are important to you and your audience.

For more support in delivering powerful recruitment campaigns that deliver results, check out IRIS networx solutions.