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How to Use Pinterest to Recruit Remarkable Employees

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Update: 4/25/2017: Pinterest recruiting is becoming increasingly common. Stay on top of the trends with these updated tips and tricks.

Look, I like pictures of fruity cocktails and flower arrangements as much as the next guy (actually, that cocktail part is true; I’m a total sucker for colorful drinks).

But when it comes to Pinterest? I’m always left wondering, “Well, yeah, but can I use it for anything actually useful?”

Turns out, if you’re a hiring manager then yes, yes you can!

Pinterest Recruiting

Pinterest can be a powerful arrow in your social media recruiting quiver, though, as usual, some caveats apply.

Here are the best ways you can use Pinterest to hire awesome talent, and how to avoid common pitfalls as you do so:

1. Create a board for each new job position

This might not be the best idea if you have hundreds of open job positions, but for everyone else, a Pinterest board devoted to each position is a powerful way to showcase everything applicants should know about that role.

The more specific you are, the easier it will be for Pinterest’s search AI to direct interested applicants to your boards.

Digital agency Work Club did just this for a new creative director position and has managed to accrue over 600 followers for the position’s board.

Work Club Pinterest

If you want to follow in their footsteps you can:

  • Describe your ideal candidate in pictures
  • Include QR codes linking to the job application page on your company’s own site
  • Illustrate a day-to-day of what the job might look like
  • Describe the job’s responsibilities visually
    • In visual occupations (such as design or events), pictures of completed projects

    Make sure to note your office’s location in your Pins, since that can ping users when they get close to your Pins’ locations

Whatever you do, always link each Pin back to your website/job posting, so potential candidates have a clear path towards applying.

2. Display your company culture and work environment through your boards and pins

Even if you don’t decide to create a different board for every single unique position, you can still use your existing boards to entice promising candidates to work for you.

Pins and images that showcase your company culture, environment, and values are powerful ways to attract like-minded applicants (especially Millennials, who value collaborative work environments and a positive mission).

Event management software company Cvent, for instance, encouraged employees to wear their “Bleed Blue” t-shirts in fun and international settings, and shares team member pictures on a Pinterest board.

Cvent Pinterest

Other examples of things you could Pin to show your culture include:

  • Pictures of your office and working environment
  • Pictures and video of company and team-building events
  • Images of motivational and inspirational quotes that reflect the company mission
  • Pictures of your employees doing community events or volunteer works outside of the office

As above, make sure on any boards devoted to recruiting that you include links within pins to places on your website or external job boards where candidates can actually see and apply for jobs.

Make sure real people are managing your social media, including Pinterest, regularly. Be ready if a Pinterest user reaches out to you via Pinterest for more information on a job posting.

3. Optimize external job postings to look good when pinned by others

Design pins that say it all and look good no matter who shares them. Making your logo into a shareable image or, better yet, having an image that’s inherently interesting because it tells you all you need to know, like this infographic from Taco Bell’s recruiting Pinterest.

DC job board Pinterest

Make sure you plan for this by optimizing application pages and postings to look good when pinned to a board in Pinterest.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, your postings need to have:

  • High quality images and logos
  • Descriptive image alt-text
  • A “Pin it” button to make it easy for people to share your open jobs
  • Always check to make sure your Pin looks good. Don’t be afraid to reformat!
  • Boost your reach by promoting your Pins through Pinterest
  • Employ user analytics to track what Pins are doing well, and with whom

These simple additions will make you all the more attractive to candidates cruising Pinterest job aggregation boards.

4. Get diverse with your media

While one of the most challenging aspects of recruiting through Pinterest is how visual the site it, this can also be one of Pinterest biggest strengths. If you can use those visual to your advantage, that is.

The trick to taking advantage of Pinterest’s image-first qualities is to think with the image first, the words second by focusing on a clear-quality logo or related image. And don’t be afraid to branch out to other formats to make your job postings oh-so clickable.

To get more out of your visual pins, try:

  • Using an infographic to describe how your company has grown or what a day in the life of a particular position might look like
  • Embedding a Youtube video explaining the position or showing off your company culture
  • Crafting a logo specific to the job to catch the eye

Putting a little thought into your images will help differentiate your boards from less thoughtful attempts at Pinterest recruiting, attracting higher-quality candidates.

Pinterest recruiting pitfalls

Using Pinterest to recruit high-quality talent is not for everyone, and if you do it badly it’s probably best not to do it all.

Here are the main reasons you will fail at hiring a rock star through Pinterest:

  • Using bad, stock photos: Pinterest is a visual medium, and if you use images that are drab, or that appear un-authentic (especially when you are trying to convey your culture) like stock photos, you’re not going to get those high performers you’re looking for.
  • Not linking back to your site or job postings:  If you stumble on this basic element of Internet Marketing 101 (“have an easy-to-follow conversion path”), you’re just making it harder for quality applicants to apply.
  • Being too “corporate”: Applicants, and especially Millennial ones, can smell corporate newspeak from miles away. The same rules apply here as apply in other social media recruiting channels, so make sure you put a real person with a face behind the corporate Pinterest account, that you comment and engage with visitors, and that you’re not afraid to show a little weakness now and then. And this treatment and follow up should continue after a candidate applies; don’t just dump them into your applicant tracking software and call it a day.
  • Straying off-message: You may feel the temptation to Pin tangentially-related things, like projects done by other companies in your same field, or a motivational quote that you find inspiring but may not fit the position perfectly. This is kryptonyte. If your Pinterest page gets too muddied, applicants won’t have a clear idea of what the position or your company is really like. Stay on track and edit ruthlessly

How about you?

Have you used Pinterest to find a job applicant (or a job)? What was your experience like? Tell us about it in the comments below.

For more great advice on recruiting and talent management, check out these articles:

Looking for Recruiting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Recruiting software solutions.

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About the Author

Halden Ingwersen

Halden Ingwersen writes about HR and eLearning at Capterra. She’s a graduate of Agnes Scott College and a TEDx presenter. You can follow her on Twitter @CapterraHalden, just don’t get her started about her zombie survival plan.

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