Pinterest for Recruiting. No, Really!

By Debbie Fledderjohann

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Pinterest is the go-to site for people looking for something new to make for dinner or for those planning a wedding. When it comes to recruiting, not so much.

But Pinterest CAN and HAS worked for both direct hire and contract staffing recruiters. Could it work for you? That depends. You have to consider your audience. Most Pinterest users in the United States are still female. If you are courting a predominately male workforce, Pinterest may not be the best social media tool for you. Additionally, only a quarter of Pinterest users have a bachelors or graduate degree, so you may not find a ton of candidates for executive roles. However, you may find sucess there if you source for positions in education, sales, healthcare support, and management.

Sourcing on Pinterest

Pinterest provides a wealth of information that can't be accessed on other social media networks. Simply searching for terms such as "resume" "cv" and "portfolio" can result in a number of new candidates, particularly for creative positions such as graphic designers and web designers who like to share their work, according to Recruiter.com As Sharlyn Lauby stated in her blog on Mashable, you also can more easily tell what potential candidates are interested in based on what they pin. By looking at the people them, you can also find other individuals who have similar interests.  

Branding on Pinterest

Pinterest can also be a useful branding tool.  Note that we said branding, not selling.  Take for example niche recruiting firm PediaStaff. With over 63,000 followers and 22,339 pins, PediaStaff's Pinterest account is now an essential career tool for many pediatric therapists, particularly in school settings. As such, it serves as the biggest source of traffic to PediaStaff's website, according to Heidi Kay, the firm's Partner and resident social media expert. You will notice if you look at their pin boards that there are few pins regarding specific jobs or about PediaStaff as a firm. Their goal is not to directly make placements from Pinterest but instead to establish themselves as a resource for therapists who are searching for classroom ideas to keep kids engaged and learning. Kay runs searches on the Internet to find new items to pin. This accounts for 60% of their pins. The other 40% comes from repinning content she finds on Pinterest.

"On Pinterest, and in all social media, it is important that you make most of your message about your followers and not about you," Kay said. "Once you develop a loyal following, you can get good marketing opportunities to discuss your job openings, placements, etc. It's important to strike a balance so your followers don't feel like you are advertising yourself too heavily, but on the other hand, it does need to be your ultimate mission to make them think of YOU for jobs in their field. You don't want to be the guy who ran the Super Bowl ad that was hilarious but noone could remember what they were selling."

"Pinterest works when there is regular content to be found on the Internet that would interest a candidate or hiring authority," she sadded. "Candidates that work for companies that sell mass market consumable goods, specific lifestyles or services would be a good fit. Teachers, Marketing and Sales Reps and Health Care professionals love Pinterest. Manufacturing Engineers - probably not so much."

So Pinterest may not work for EVERY recruiting firm, but don't automatically assume it won't work for yours. Evaluate your candidate pool. Are there tools you can provide them through Pinterest that will enhance their work and add value to their lives? Are they likely to share their work on this type of platform? If you answered yes to either question, you may want to give Pinterest a second look.  

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