Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms used by Millennials and Gen Z. In 2019, the total number of daily active Snapchat users is 188 million with 71% of Snapchat users under 34 years old. It is estimated that if you tried to view all the photos shared on the platform in the last hour, it would take you 10 years.

Still, despite the evidence showing these extraordinary levels of engagement, Snapchat isn’t widely regarded as a recruitment tool. However, if your company is keen to recruit graduates or apprentices, Snapchat is where you should be focusing your recruitment efforts.

What is Snapchat, again?

Snapchat is a social messaging app for smartphones which uses photos and videos. The app gives options to add images, text and animations. Essentially, it is a fun way of communicating with your contacts, as all photos and videos sent have a specific time limit before they disappear forever. It’s quick, impermanent, and a bit of a laugh. It’s therefore not surprising that the platform is known as the social media playground.

However, Snapchat is frequently underused because employers do not understand how to use it, or why it can be beneficial. Of course, as with anything, there are both positives and negatives. As an employer, it’s important to fully understand how you could be utilising Snapchat for recruitment.

How can it be used for recruitment?

Snapchat was first created in 2011 and started gaining traction as a recruitment tool not long after, though it took a few years for it to gain real momentum. These days, it’s predominantly being used by employers in 3 ways:

  1. To advertise vacancies in an interactive, fun way.
  2. To attract candidates, by using the platform to shape their employer branding.
  3. As a creative application alternative, rather than going down the traditional CV route.

Advertising vacancies

McDonald’s likes to call their Snapchat recruitment drive, ‘Snaplications’. They’ve combined employer branding and recruitment marketing by making 10-second videos of their employees as they discuss what it’s like working for the brand. The viewer can then swipe up on the video to be redirected to the McDonald’s careers page.

This is just one example of how to use Snapchat to advertise your vacancies more creatively. Utilising all of Snapchat’s features in your posts, such as drawings and text, can help make them more fun. However, Snapchat can be used for more than just advertising your vacancies.

Attracting candidates

Snapchat can also be used very much like Instagram, to give candidates a look inside your company culture. Where Snapchat and Instagram differ is that Instagram is designed with more of an aesthetic feel in mind, to project a more idealised version of who you are. In contrast, Snapchat is designed to give more of a fly on the wall feel to the inner workings of your life or, in this case, company.

It’s not meant to be perfect, it’s meant to feel personal. Where Instagram is the ideal platform for well-constructed, beautifully lit photos, Snapchat thrives off spur of the moment, reactive snapshots. The whole point is that because the images disappear, they don’t have to be visually perfect. What they need to do is tell a story, giving potential candidates the opportunity to really see inside the day-to-day.

Creative application alternative

Other companies have used Snapchat to turn the tables on the candidates, asking them to submit short videos to apply for a role. Of course, this only really works for roles that don’t require extensive experience. However, it’s a great way to see how engaged a candidate really is.

For example, for a role that works with social media, asking them to utilise social media as part of their application process is a great way to test their creativity and innovation. If they’re already an engaged Snapchat user, then the likelihood is they are also fairly savvy on all their social media platforms.

If you choose to utilise this, however, then make sure the reasons behind using this method are clear. A pub in Dublin, Sober Lane, asked candidates to send in a video via Snapchat telling them why they should be considered for the role. In response, there were questions raised over whether they had initiated this recruitment technique to enable selective discrimination based on candidate appearance. Overall, however, with a strategic approach, Snapchat can be a fantastic way to engage with your target audience.

Why Snapchat matters

Research shows that Millennials check their phones up to 150 times a day. Gen Zers are heavier users of Snapchat in particular, being active up to “11 times a day”. So, if you want to reach these types of candidates with your recruitment marketing, you need to meet them where they’re at. Media Post says, “Gen Z wants authentic brand experiences across all channels and devices”, showing that Snapchat’s personal approach to social media is a highly effective way to reach them.

As a result of these findings, the number of companies utilising Snapchat as a recruitment platform – such as AOL and Mitchells and Butlers – is gradually increasing. So, don’t wait until everyone’s doing it, make your mark while it’s still gaining traction.