How we recruit millennial candidates via social media

We recently started hiring again at Recruitee. Regardless of the fact that we build recruiting software, we discovered that getting the word out about our vacancies was not as easy as we would expect. We tried some popular job boards but weren’t satisfied with the results. So we looked for ways to solve it.

Our target group is recent graduates who’d like to join a startup to learn as much as possible. We’re asking them to join a hectic but extremely satisfying working environment. Since work experience of most of these candidates is short or nonexistent, it’s hard to pinpoint the ideal candidates.

While setting up our own marketing ads, we had an idea: why don’t we treat our recruitment process like a conversion funnel?

Instead of trying to reach millennials on job boards where they probably don’t visit, we decided to put our budget into the channels where our target group spends every potentially dull moment of their lives: Facebook and Instagram.

Here’s a little step-by-step guide on how you can do the same, while making the whole process as frictionless as possible:

Instagram – Reach people where they are

1 — Use an Instagram-proof graphic

Start with thinking of an ad which is relevant to the medium you’re promoting, and sparks initial interest in working with you.

As famous entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk said about social media:

“Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform’s native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match.”

Blatantly promoting our most instagram-worthy asset: the view of the canals in Amsterdam. #officegoals?

2 — Optimize the copy

Use a short-but-sweet call to action with your ad. Remember: This is not the place to state meaningless buzzwords as qualifications. So keep “independent team workers,” “no 9-to-5 mentality” and “entrepreneurial spirits” to yourself for now. Just be honest about what you’re offering to draw the right people to your ad.

To set a proper expectation, we decided to start with narrowing down the amount of experience required: “graduated”

then ignited some interest: “fast-growing startup” and “motivated people”

and finally introduced the position we’re offering: “Customer Success Openings”

Facebook – Find your target audience

1 — Decide on your niche

Facebook targeting is steadily becoming the 8th wonder of the world. Whoever you’re trying to find from the current 1.39 billion users, you can target anyone using the right criteria.

In general, there are three categories: demographics, interests, and behaviors. Out of all three, demographics are the safest choice, as this data is available for a large number of users. Interests are dependent on someone’s facebook usage, so you don’t want to rely too much on them. Behaviors can venture into very specific details which could come in handy.

Use this knowledge to your advantage for setting up some hyper-targeted messages. Your imagination (or very specific image) is the only limit.

We decided to focus mostly on the field of education, and selected some extra indicators to ensure tech-savviness.

2 — Run a test budget first

Finding the right audience can be tricky, so make sure to run a short test (probably a few days, just enough to get a feeling for what you can expect.) Look at the complete funnel from your daily reach to the number of clicks to the applications you are receiving. Are you reaching lots of people, but they are not converting to your website? Critically review your targeting criteria. Do you receive a lot of clicks, but no applications? Maybe your copy is a bit misleading. Either way, it’s worth your time (and budget) to run a few tests.

Careers site – Where all the roads lead to

1 — Set up a good-looking, mobile-friendly careers site

Since you’re advertising on social media, your potential candidates should be able to check out the full job description immediately. Social is a short-term attention game: You do not want to waste that attention by redirecting to a desktop-only site.

This wasn’t too hard for us: Our own platform Recruitee lets you create career sites which are fully responsive and updated from the start.

2 — Make sure people can apply directly

You can’t expect people to have their resume ready and saved on their phones. Make sure people can apply with their LinkedIn profile on your page when they run into your ad. Just like the other steps, it’s important to make the process from start to finish as smooth as possible.

LinkedIn has all the data you need on a candidate, and will allow them to apply immediately. Recruitee includes it automatically for every job opening.

And there you have it. So far we’ve gathered a nice pool of candidates, and will start with interviews this week.

Willing to try it yourself, or do you have tips on how we can improve ours? Feel free to tweet us your story to @recruiteeHR or shoot us an email at

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This article originally appeared on Recruitee Blog (newsletter:

Hagi Trinh is an avid recruitment writer at Recruitee. The team is working on the greatest hiring platform of all time. You can sign up at to try it out and follow us on Twitter @recruiteeHR.

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