Could Snapchat be the next big recruitment tool?

11 May 2018 By Iain Moss

Iain Moss explains why brands are increasingly turning to the app to attract new talent

Should you not be familiar with the details of Snapchat, this may come as a something of a surprise. How can an image-based messaging app for smartphones, where messages are automatically deleted within a few seconds, help you find quality candidates? It sounds unlikely but, for an increasing number of organisations, it works.

Why use Snapchat?

Snapchat brings exposure to millions of candidates. The smartphone app was used by 187 million people each day as at 13 February 2018, according to Omnicore, and more than 25 per cent of UK smartphone users have Snapchat. Most use it for posting messages to friends, and typically open the app 18 times a day, according to Snap Inc's – the company that runs the app – initial public offering prospectus.

According to Bloomberg, 'snappers' (as they are dubbed) worldwide watch 10 billion videos a day – two billion more than Facebook – meaning there is potentially a highly engaged group of potential candidates you can get in front of.

Snapchat users are overwhelmingly young people (45 per cent of them are aged 18-24) so if you are looking to reach the fabled millennial generation looking for their first job, apprenticeships or graduate posts, Snapchat could be your friend.

How you can use it

Many companies use Snapchat for increasing brand awareness, and thus indirectly to increase customers. Snap Inc cites cases where companies have used its ads to grow business and keep costs down. Adidas, for instance, found that 18 per cent of new visitors to its stores had arrived as a result of its Snapchat ad campaign.

This kind of brand promotion also has the potential to attract candidates; more than half of people on Snapchat follow some type of brand or company, so it’s possible you already have a company account with followers you can start to use.

Your snaps need to tell a brief story about how working for your brand could be exciting and rewarding, while showing off the amazing people they would be working with and the fabulous projects you get up to.

Pictures of staff enjoying a team day out, at training or awards events, with visiting celebrities, or even with the office pet (if you are lucky enough to have one) all give active or passive candidates the chance to see what it's like to work for you. Younger candidates are known to favour brands that offer the opportunity to give something back, so consider snapping pictures of company charity fundraising or community events.

Telling stories through Snapchat will have more appeal if they are more informal, and they may come across better from employees themselves. Consider getting your marketing department to train a few non-marketing staff to do this.

Snapchat's informal approach naturally suits some companies better than others, but it can be used by brands in any sector. It's no surprise that fast food outlets such as McDonald's and Taco Bell use the app for recruiting, but now even brands considered much more serious are targeting Snapchat users – The Economist has recently started publishing stories on the app.

Snapchat allows businesses to sponsor filters and lenses to their images, so they can be customised with your chosen words, artwork and corporate logo.


The app can also be used to prompt those who see your company snaps to apply for a job, right away, within the app. For instance, people watching McDonald's sponsored stories can swipe up to be directed to the McDonald’s job page, where they can make a 10-second application video using a sponsored filter. This sponsorship, however, is not free, so be cautious before spending money.

Snapchat also offers Snapcodes, which cost nothing. Snapcodes consist of a ghost icon surrounded by dots, and work like a QR code. Users take a photo of the code and are directed to a specified URL, such as your recruitment site.

Keep the snaps coming

As with all social media marketing, once started, it must be kept up to be credible, so consider whether it is worthwhile in terms of time and cost. Consider the demographics of the candidates you want to apply for your jobs, and whether you have enough time to devote to keeping them engaged before you get started.

Iain Moss is B2B marketing manager at Adzuna

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