Recruitment Marketing Social Recruiting

How to Increase Engagement on Instagram (and Other Recruitment Marketing Social Channels)

How to Increase Engagement on Instagram (and Other Recruitment Marketing Social Channels)
Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia

Looking to get off the social media hamster wheel? Learn how to create content for your Recruitment Marketing social channels that actually engages your candidates.

How to Increase Engagement on Instagram (and Other Recruitment Marketing Social Channels)
5 (100%) 4 votes

With the platform’s average engagement rate being less than 1%, figuring out how to increase engagement on Instagram and creating content that actually engages candidates are challenges you’re likely all too familiar with. 

Lack of engagement on social media is such a problem, in fact, that we’ve made it our mission at Rally the past couple of months to provide our community with practical solutions. To share what we’ve found so far, I’m hosting an upcoming Live Webinar and Q&A called Build Your Fall Social Recruiting Calendar.

Based on the latest benchmark data from our Rally® Inside™ Recruitment Marketing Analytics & Benchmarking tool, I’ll be sharing best practices for building a social media content calendar designed to attract your candidate personas.

As a sample of what’s to come in the webinar, I wanted to share today how to increase engagement on Instagram, and other Recruitment Marketing social channels, right away through the use of only a few tactics and tools.

Create content you know for a fact that your candidates are interested in

The first thing that comes to mind after reading this headline may be: obviously! But figuring out what topics your candidates truly care about and turning this into content can be more complicated than you think.

Here are a few tools and resources to help you do that. 

Candidate personas

A candidate persona is a profile representing an ideal candidate who you are trying to hire for a specific job.

Each candidate persona should define:

  • the skill sets, experience and traits that an ideal hire would possess 
  • common pain points that candidates face in their current job
  • their “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” in a job
  • their job search behaviors
  • where they spend their time online and events they attend
  • how they want to communicate with your company

To create a candidate persona, you’ll need to research and document information about your target candidates. You can tap into a range of team members who can help you build out each persona profile. We recommend interviewing:

  • Recruiters who regularly recruit for the role
  • Hiring Managers who know who they’re looking for
  • Employees who are already in those positions
  • Current candidates who are your ideal targets 

By building out these personas, which you can easily do with the help of our candidate persona template, you’re no longer creating content for a faceless audience; you know who you’re trying to attract, and you can show how you offer what they’re looking for through your content. 

For example, when UBS needed to attract and hire hundreds of management consultants to the group internal consulting (GIC) practice, they turned to their existing employees. They asked them why they chose UBS and learned that they appreciated the same principles of pitching, billable hours and projects found in external firms but with the added benefits of a greater work-life balance and longer-term clients.

They then created a video series called “Consulting but different’ showing these advantages, which they approved with their current employees and then shared on social media and other candidate touchpoints. In the end, the campaign reached over 120,000 people, produced over 400 qualified interviews and over 200 hires.

A video from UBS’s Consulting but different campaign.

Benchmark data

Another helpful resource you can use to guide your content creation is benchmark data, especially if you’re working to develop your social media content plan and just want to get the ball rolling in an informed way.

In short, benchmark data lets you know what is working for other employers on a mass scale, from content topics to social media channels to many other aspects of Recruitment Marketing.

You can use our comprehensive list of Recruitment Marketing benchmark reports and resources to start with, or you can use our new Recruitment Marketing Content Recommendations Calculator to point you in the right direction right away.

Here’s how our Calculator works: 

  1. Enter which job function you are recruiting for (i.e. engineering)
  2. Enter which channel you want to use (i.e. LinkedIn)
  3. Instantly get data-driven Recruitment Marketing content recommendations, based on the latest user data from Rally® Inside™, our Recruitment Marketing Analytics & Benchmarking tool

The recommendations are data-driven because they are based on what is currently producing the most engagement for all users of Rally Inside. 

For example, if you’re trying to hire engineers on LinkedIn, you’ll be recommended the topics currently producing the most engagement for Rally Inside users also trying to hire engineers on LinkedIn.

For more help with your Recruitment Marketing strategy, related to content and otherwise, check out our full list of free Recruitment Marketing tools.

Present your content in a way that your candidates will respond to

Once you’re confident with what content you need to be creating, the other piece of the puzzle is presenting it in a way that candidates will respond to.

Here are a couple of best practices to consider following.


The easier that candidates can relate to the content you’re putting in front of them, the better. Making employees the center of your content – and ideally the creator – accomplishes this much better than more general, corporate-focused content. 

For example, instead of creating a video filled with stock imagery and a faceless narrator talking about innovative work taking place at your company, a more engaging approach would be to have employees behind that innovative work talking about it directly to the camera. 

Or, if they’re not comfortable being interviewed, you could ask them to provide a quote and image to include in the video. 

However you go about it, real employees talking about themselves, their teams, the work they’re doing or anything else within the context of being an employee at your company is almost always going to be more attractive and engaging to candidates than a general corporate voice talking on their behalf. 


While the kinds of stories you tell should ideally be tailored to the candidate personas you’re trying to attract, the more diverse your employee representation is within these stories, the more candidates will be able to relate to it. 

You want as many candidates as possible to look at your content and think to themselves, I can see some of this person in myself. If they can be in that role at that company, so can I!

With this mind, engaging employee stories vary in their representation of the following:

  • Roles
  • Departments
  • Seniority levels
  • Education
  • Career paths
  • Cultural backgrounds

An example of a post from Evonik showcasing 4 employee stories at once, detailing how they arrived at their current positions at the company.

Rally note: To learn how to develop an employee story generation engine, and get a 12-step checklist to launch, build and manage your employee stories strategy and content library, download our How To Guide, The Ultimate Guide to Building an Employee Stories Content Library.


Do images engage your candidates better than videos? How about audio? What formats are best for each of your social channels?

The only way to find out what content formats resonate best with your candidates is by tracking the performance of your content across your different Recruitment Marketing channels.

By tracking your performance, you can quickly get a sense of what works for each channel and minimize wasted time and investment. You can focus all of your effort on content you know for a fact engages your candidates.

While tracking is the fastest way to learn what content formats to focus on, if you’re struggling for ideas, here are some tried-and-true formats that we’ve seen work for employers in our community:

  • Employee takeovers (i.e. have an intern take over your company’s Instagram story for a day while they’re at a hiring event)
  • Day-in-the-life content (i.e. a video or a collection of pictures accompanied by a post description detailing the life of an engineer at your company)
  • Employee Q&A (i.e. an individual or panel of employees going live to field questions from candidates)
  • Careers podcast (a great example is Sitel Group’s Pie With People podcast)

To show how diversity and inclusion are lived and fostered at Evonik, the company had their DEI team take over their official Instagram page.

For more inspiration around experimental but effective Recruitment Marketing content, read our article 3 Experimental Recruitment Marketing Campaigns that Worked.


Interested in learning more about turning your careers social media presence into a talent attraction machine? 

Get a jumpstart now on creating your Fall social recruiting calendar with content that’s proven to attract and engage today’s talent by registering for our upcoming live webinar, Build Your Fall Social Recruiting Calendar.

How to Increase Engagement on Instagram (and Other Recruitment Marketing Social Channels)
5 (100%) 4 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

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