Reddit is a massive online community forum where users share news, images and video content so other users can comment and vote on the content. Popular content rises to the top, while content that is downvoted (e.g. less popular) becomes less visible on the site.
If you’re not already familiar with Reddit, it might surprise you to learn it has 330 million active users (that’s 100 million more than LinkedIn, by the way!). Reddit is the sixth most popular website in the world – falling only behind giants like Google, YouTube and Facebook.
Let’s take a look at some reasons why you should be recruiting on Reddit if you aren’t already, plus some tips on how to get started.
3 reasons to recruit on Reddit
If you still need a bit more convincing about the benefits of using Reddit in your recruitment strategy, here are three major bonuses that should do the trick!
1. It’s full of highly skilled passive candidates
In this candidate-driven market, anything that gets you in front of top talent before other recruiters is a real blessing.
As mentioned, Reddit has a massive audience (1.6 billion visits in July 2019 alone) but it also has a busy, text-heavy layout that’s confusing enough to put a lot of recruiters off using it – making it an untapped candidate goldmine!
Reddit’s userbase also tends to be pretty well-educated. The majority of Redditors have a degree or some higher education.
With this in mind, Reddit is the perfect place to find top passive candidates that haven’t been approached by other recruiters – essentially, because they don’t even know they exist.
2. It’ll help you get to know Gen ZGen Z (candidates under 25) have started entering the workforce and they’re very different to the candidates we’re used to working with. They have different needs and desires, and the more you get to know them now, the easier your job will be recruiting them.
To attract this newest workforce, you need to be authentic and show you understand the things they care about. Reddit is a perfect platform to do this as it actively promotes authenticity and gives you the chance to interact with other users on any topic imaginable – whether that’s r/gameofthrones, r/AnimalsBeingJerks or r/StormComing.
As much as 34% of Gen Z in the UK are active on Reddit, meaning there’s an untouched pool of Gen Z candidates that you can dip into and nurture good relationships before other recruiters get to them.
3. You can learn a lot about niche industriesThere’s a huge tech audience on Reddit. And you’ll find these candidates spending time in tech-related ‘subreddits’ (what Reddit calls discussion pages) out of office hours, sharing memes, opinions and inside jokes about their industry.
These subreddits (such as r/ProgrammerHumor) are the perfect place to brush up on your industry lingo and familiarise yourself with the kinds of challenges that would make candidates in your industry look for a new job (and what would draw them to a new opportunity!)
For more help on writing engaging ads for niche candidates, download our job ad templates for hard-to-fill roles here.
How to get started recruiting on Reddit
So, now you know why you should consider using Reddit to attract those gold dust candidates, how do you actually get started?
These three initial steps will help you get the ball rolling!
Step 1 - Set up your profile
Set up your Reddit profile using the ‘sign up’ button on the homepage using your personal email. Your first stop will be choose a username - it should go without saying, but don’t choose anything that hints to your recruiting background!
Anything that implies you have a motive to use the platform for personal gain will get you seriously down-voted – or even blocked! – so choose a generic name to be safe.
Unlike other social networks, Reddit encourages anonymity, so you can’t upload your favourite selfie to let people know who you are. Instead, you get your very own ‘Snoo’ (Reddit’s alien mascot) to use as your alias.
Step 2 – Find your threads
No matter how obscure you think a subject is, people will be talking about it on Reddit – that’s the beauty of this platform!
Posting and engaging is the only way to build up your Karma (points assigned to your profile based on how active you are on the site) so taking part in the community is essential to prove you’re legit and build up your credibility.
Your ‘Cake Day’ (the day you joined Reddit) is also visible on your profile for everyone to see, so be aware that seasoned Redditors will know if you’re a fresh newbie just joining to scope out the talent.
Which is why you need to provide some value before you jump straight into sourcing…
Step 3 – Provide value
Reddit’s culture is all about giving before you can expect to get anything back, and this is something you should practice across all social media platforms when building your personal brand as a recruiter.
So, once you’ve set up your profile and taken part in some high-brow meme-sharing, take a look at some subreddits like r/GetEmployed or r/resumes, where you can provide your industry knowledge and expertise (without being salesy) and start adding value to the community.
You might even get some gold (a special reward that allows you premium features) from a grateful Redditor if you’re lucky!
Things to avoid doing on Reddit
Redditors don’t take kindly to rule-breakers, so those candidate goldmines could quickly turn into landmines if you don’t behave appropriately.
Follow these dos and don’ts to make sure you stay on the right side of the Reddit community.
Reddit is strictly against any form of spamming – whether that’s sending unsolicited messages, posting irrelevant content into subreddits or linking out to promotional content.
Moderators are everywhere on the platform, keeping an eye on your posts to ensure they are following the rules and there are even bots sweeping through threads looking for misbehavers – so don’t try your luck!
Redditors are not afraid to block any users who break the rules or appear to have ulterior motives for using the platform. In some threads, you even need to have a certain number of Karma points before you’re allowed to post!
Unlike LinkedIn, promoting your company or newest vacancy is seriously frowned upon - unless you’re on subreddit that explicitly allows it (e.g. r/london_forhire).
Beware: If you get caught out, you’ll be hung up to dry and no one’s exempt! Even tech tycoon Elon Musk had a job offer ruthlessly declined by a Redditor for not following the rules.
You don’t want to end up on the r/HailCorporate thread. Ouch!
Tips for success
Follow the rules
Each subreddit has its own set of rules determined by the OP (Original Poster). So before you dive in, make sure you’ve familiarised yourself with the specific rules set out for that thread, and respect them at all times.
Tap into an existing resource
Building your credibility on Reddit can be an extremely time-consuming process.
However, it’s possible you already have some experienced Redditors within your company! If you’re looking for a new developer, why not see if someone in the team with a well-oiled profile would be interested in helping you fill your jobs.
And most importantly… be patient
Recruiting on Reddit is a slow-burning strategy, and it’s important to take the time to find your way around the platform and really understand what makes this community tick. If you do it right, it can bring some serious rewards.
Start building relationships and your Reddit authority first by posting your ‘two cents’ in a relevant subreddit, and build a solid reddit candidate hit list before making any moves.
First stop: Why not start by sharing your first post in r/todayilearned? Or check out our eBook to get more tip on how to recruit for difficult roles:
Laura is an Email and Marketing Automation Specialist at Firefish. Since diving into marketing, she's been reeling readers in with great blogs and emails!