3 minute read

Instagram Reels: What recruitment marketers need to know

Has your recruitment agency tried Instagram Reels? In this blog, we will:

  • Explain what Instagram Reels is
  • How Reels is both similar and different to TikTok
  • And outline how you can use it effectively

What is Instagram Reels?

Similar to TikTok,, Instagram Reels is an app feature that allows you to create short, engaging videos on the platform. You can record and edit videos with audio, text, stickers, and special effects, then share them to your Stories, Explore Feed, and the Reels tab on your profile.

  • Reels can range from 3-90 seconds in length
  • They need to be filmed in full 9:16 portrait mode
  • They are mobile-only which means they can only be uploaded via mobile devices and not desktop (although they can be scheduled using social media scheduling tools)
  • They can be filmed directly within the Reels camera and/or uploaded from your camera roll on your mobile device
  • They can be filmed in one take or you can stitch together multiple clips

Reels has taken centre stage in Instagram as the platform looks to nudge users into browsing and sharing Reels. The Reels tab is similar to TikTok’s ‘For You’ page and features a selection of some of the most popular content to swipe through and view – as well as a button prompting users to create and share their own Reels.

Why did Instagram launch Reels?

According to Instagram, it launched Reels as “a new way for anyone — people, creators, and businesses — to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram."

While it hasn’t acknowledged the success of TikTok as a reason for launching Reels, it is likely a strategic move from the company to keep users producing short-form content within its own ecosystem rather than potentially losing them to a rival platform.

After all, in 2016 Instagram launched its Stories feature in response to the growing success of Snapchat and in just eight months Stories had exceeded Snapchat’s daily user count. If Instagram has similar success with this feature, it is likely to become a popular feature of the platform as has Stories.

Instagram Reels vs. TikTok

As Instagram Reels is TikTok’s direct competitor, it is worth looking at their similarities and differences.

They are both similar as they provide an outlet for users to produce and share creative short-form videos with another, with them both sharing many of the same editing features.

However, there are also three key differences that set them apart:


Instagram Reels


Reels is a feature that sits inside the Instagram platform

TikTok is its own platform

Users can create a video between 3-90 seconds long

Videos created must be between 1 second - 10 minutes long


How recruitment firms can use Instagram Reels

Now that you know what Instagram Reels is, how can you use this feature for your recruitment business?

Here are four ways your recruitment agency can utilise Instagram Reels.

1. Reuse TikTok videos

While this may sound uncreative, many brands are successfully reusing their videos on Instagram. This can help bring you new followers and help expose your existing content to those you may not use TikTok. But make sure you don't upload videos to Instagram with the TikTok watermark as the algorithm deprioritises these.

2. Share educational videos

If you currently produce videos which offer candidates advice, think about how you could recreate these in a bite-sized format that fits within Reels’ 90 seconds limit. For example, you could break down a video consisting of ‘five top tips’ into five stand-alone Reels.

3. Create stop motion videos

Stop motion videos, where one scene ends and jumps into the next, are currently a popular way of getting creative with Reels. For example, you could create a Reel of the five books that you recommend candidates in your specialism read being placed on a desk and ask them to share their top reads in the comments.

4. Showcase your company culture

Behind-the-scenes content can help make your recruitment brand far more personable and is a great way to position your employees at the forefront of your social media. Try providing an insight into what your recruiters do on a day-to-day basis and why they love their roles.

Tips for maximising engagement from Instagram Reels

Due to how Reels display as full size videos on mobile devices, it is important to have the call-to-action as a text overlay in your video as mobile viewers are unlikely to read the caption – especially if it’s more than a couple of lines long.

Below are some tips from Instagram's Creators account on the do’s and don’ts of using Reels to create quality content and maximise engagement: 

Updated September 2022

21 ideas for engaging social media content

Subscribe to the BlueSky Blog

The personal information you provide will help us to deliver, develop and promote our products and services. Submitting your details indicates that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and cookie policy.

And don’t worry, we hate spam too! You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related post

How to view your competitors’ social media ads

Did you know that you can find paid social ads...

What does LinkedIn's algorithm update mean for recruitment marketers?

Over the past several months, LinkedIn has been...

Recruitment industry trends: Global Recruiter Summit 2022

After receiving an invite to the Global Recruiter...

How to increase your recruitment firm’s organic reach on social media

Have you noticed a decline in your recruitment...

0 thoughts on “Instagram Reels: What recruitment marketers need to know