Last month I was interested to see that a soon to be opened Dublin bar and grill was using Snapchat for recruiting it’s new staff.
You can see the advert that Sober Lane posted on their Facebook Page where they said:
Looking for some more of life’s winners to keep the legend alive. Recruitment agencies, CV’s, References – BORING! We will only be taking applications through Snapchat.
This is not the first time that SnapChat has been used by brands in Ireland. In February this year, Betfair started to use it for one of their campaigns.
In March Aer Lingus announced on Twitter that they had a SnapChat profile and they have shared behind the scenes stories from the photoshoot of their new cabin crew uniforms to more recently their first flight to Terminal 2 at Heathrow.
Three Reasons Why Using SnapChat for Recruiting Was A Good Decision For Soberlane
1. The platform is being used by their target audience – recent research that I wrote about mentioned that SnapChat is being used by 21 percent of people in Ireland and while not referenced in the research, users are primarily teens and those in their twenties.
2. Using SnapChat as an initial part of the search process enabled people to share their personality to the bar owner so that they could see who stood out from the crowd. It is clear from the tone of the communications on their Twitter and Facebook pages that they are somewhat irreverent and quirky so they were looking for candidates that were distinctive.
3. The amount of news coverage that they received given they are a small business was astonishing – not only was their story shared byt the Irish media they also got picked up in internaltional publications as you can see in this curation here which only features some of the media coverage. There is no question that taking this guerilla approach to recruiting using social media put them firmly on the map which is something all new businesses want. They would certainly not have received that coverage if they had sent journalists a press release about them opening in Dublin.
Why I Do Not Recommend That SnapChat Is Used In This Way For Recruiting
In a radio interview the owner of Sober Lane Ernest Cantolin stated that the decision to use SnapChat came about as first impressions are everything and if people could impress them in a SnapChat then they would impress customers.
The problem with using SnapChat is that in theory (though there are hacks you can make) once the content has been viewed on SnapChat the content disappears.
Therefore there is no record of the applicant and this is a significant issue and why most employers will not be using SnapChat as a way to enable candidates to apply for a position. You are opening a minefield of potential discrimination cases (I know this as I was an ex SVP Human Resources for a FTSE 100 company so my comments are influenced by my corporate experience of recruitment and resourcing).
The bar were also innundated with applications – some articles about the campaign state that they received over 2000 applications on SnapChat. I am sure many of them would not have been serious applicants and just having fun with the app. I saw some people cross posting their applications on other social networks and it was clear they were not seriously applying for the role. I wonder how many of the 2000 applicants were serious applicants and would you be interested in trawling through hundreds or irrelevant applications even if one only took a few seconds?
How Could Sober Lane Have Used Visual Social Media For Recruitment With Less Risk?
There are alternative solutions Sober Lane could have used if they wanted people to make a great first impression in just a few seconds but put themselves at less risk for example they could have encouraged people to share a Vine which allows a 6 second recording or Instagram an application where you can post videos of up to 15 seconds, and even Twitter now supports Gifs if they are looking for people to be creative.
SnapChat could be used successfully and has been for recruitment where the employer is posting about the vacancies – this has been prevalent in the US especially in the field of sports. But to do so in the way that Sober Lane did is a risk.
Do you have plans to use visual social platforms for your recruitment this year and encourage applications from candidates using short form video content? Would you be allowed by your organisation to use SnapChat for recruitment in the same way Sober Lane did?
In the meantime, Sober Lane is opening it’s doors today for trading and of course they took to SnapChat yesterday to share how the premises were shaping up and how much work they still had to do!