In today’s competitive talent market, recruiters are often looking for new ways to attract and land their industry’s top performers.
For some, that means expanding their recruiting efforts into the social world. Networks like LinkedIn and Facebook are the most popular for connecting with prospective candidates. But there’s one more platform you should consider adding to your social recruiting tool belt: Twitter.
Twitter is a fast-paced social network that allows users to share short bits of information with their “followers.” Because it’s an open network (you're free to connect with anyone) and built for search, it’s really an ideal place to find top candidates.
In fact, the platform ranks as the third most popular search engine (following only Google and YouTube). What are people searching for? Well, it turns out a lot of users are actually searching for jobs.
It’s never been a better time for your organization to start getting active on Twitter. Not only is it an effective way to reach applicants who are already fans of your brand. But it also allows you to discover passive candidates who would make ideal employees for your positions.
Let’s get started
Before you start using Twitter as a recruiting tool, it’s important to get familiar with the basics. As soon as you feel comfortable with the fundamentals, it’s time to start diving into Twitter’s core recruiting functions.
1. Solidify your brand
Your company’s dedicated Twitter account should be much more than just a “job feed.” Instead, use your tweets to strengthen your employment brand. By sharing industry news, photos of employees or company updates, you can create an account that truly reflects the ethos of your company.
Start by choosing a Twitter handle that’s easy for job seekers to recognize. If your company name isn’t available, try tagging on words like “careers, “jobs” or “life at” (i.e. @Recruiting_comJobs or @LifeAtRecruiting_com).
Create your bio by explaining what the account is for (Twitter actually does a great job). Also, don’t forget to link back to your company’s career site or employment video within the bio itself to drive more traffic. When it comes to your account’s aesthetics, create a header image and profile photo that clearly represents your brand.
Now, it’s time to start building a network of followers. Set aside some time each day to invest in your tweets. Stay organized by creating an editorial calendar that shows which particular days you plan on sharing industry news and which days you want to post photos of employees. Doing so will help keep your tweeting consistent—a key to building a strong following.
The critical point here is that you must provide relevant content that your followers will value. If you only use your Twitter stream as a “job feed,” users may consider it spam because it appears automated. People want to talk to people. That’s why it’s key to remain human by sharing diverse information with your network.
2. Tweet jobs to your followers
When you post a job to an online job board, you’re trying to reach an abundance of job seekers who may or may not know your brand. The unique thing about leveraging Twitter is that when you tweet a job to your followers, you're reaching people who are not only familiar with your brand but may also be loyal fans. A key advantage when trying to connect with candidates who align with your company values.
Building a Job Tweet
There are two ways to post jobs to Twitter—either by automation or manually. Auto posting uses an RSS feed to automatically distribute new jobs from your career site or applicant tracking system. Manual posting is obviously done by hand.
To build the perfect job tweet, follow the example below.
- State the job title
- Include a link to the job posting
- Use hashtags to increase Twitter search engine visibility
A hashtag is a community driven way to categorize tweets—either by keywords or trending topics. To reach job seekers who are using the platform as a search engine, include hashtags that are relevant to job searching.
If you’re looking for a local candidate, be sure to include hashtags that have your city name or metro area. Since you’re restricted to 140 characters, don’t be afraid to use abbreviations.
For niche positions, include hashtags that specify a given industry to connect with the hard-to-find talent your organization needs.
3. Search for top performers
Twitter search isn’t just for job seekers. As a recruiter, you can use the search engine as a way to source for passive candidates.
There are two different paths to choose from when it comes to sourcing:
Use Advanced Search
Start by searching for the type of candidate you are looking for in the main search box (toward the right corner of the page). As an example, let’s choose a web designer.
Once you’ve entered your query, you’ll be brought to a page with your results. Click the gear in the top right corner and choose “Advanced Search.”
Here, you can add more keywords to filter your results. Try including key phrases the professional may use in his or her tweets or bio. You can even narrow results down to a specific location. Once you're ready to go, hit “search” again.
Among the results, you’ll probably find a lot of recruiters tweeting their opportunities—more reason why you should be too! You’ll also find a lot of professionals who match your search results.
Start searching for your perfect prospect by reading bios, scanning through tweets and checking out linked material. Once you find a candidate who matches your ideals, you can either choose to DM (direct message) the candidate or reach out to them via contact information they have provided.
Leverage Professional Connections
You can also source for candidates by observing user interactions with a popular professional resource. Since our example is a web designer, we’d probably choose to look through an account like @SmashingMag.
Explore a tweet's responses by clicking “Expand.” Search through the users who have ReTweeted, Favorited or replied. Continue to dig through interactions and research Twitter profiles until you find the ideal candidate you’re looking for. Reach out to them via a direct message (DM) or contact information they have provided.
Whether you’re building a network of prospective candidates, distributing jobs to an expansive audience or sourcing for passive talent, Twitter makes connecting with the right candidates via a social platform easy and effective. Include Twitter as part of your social recruiting strategy to diversify your candidate channels and strengthen your employment brand.