Twitter Recruiting

Gautam Ghosh
Gautam Ghosh
If you are spending a lot of time posting jobs and not getting great talent applying through job postings on job portals or LinkedIn, maybe it’s time to invest in something different. Try twitter recruiting. It’s free! All you have to invest is time! Below we’ll talk through the pros and cons of recruiting via Twitter and walk through the steps of tweeting your first job post.

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What Is Twitter Recruiting?

Twitter recruiting is primarily any activity a recruiter or a company does to inform, attract and apply on the Twitter network. This could be posting information about the company culture in the form of videos or infographics. It could be getting your employees posting about their work and how they enjoy working in your company. It could also be posting open job positions and asking your network to amplify your post so that it reaches the right candidate. Really, the limits of using Twitter for recruiting are the limits of your imagination and creativity.

What Are the Pros of Twitter Recruiting?

Did I tell you already that it’s free? Well, yes there are Twitter ads which can help you promote a post, but if you use Twitter well, as outlined later in the article, you probably won’t need to use them. The main pros of twitter recruiting are as follows:

  • It builds your employer brand. When people follow your company’s or your employees’ handle (Twitter-speak for account handle) they get to know what it’s like to work in your company. That is something that cannot be conveyed by job descriptions.
  • You get to know candidates better. While a resume and LinkedIn profile show you the skills of candidates, Twitter lets you know their interests and what they are currently working on.
  • You can message candidates easily. Unlike LinkedIn, which requires a paid subscription to message candidates outside your social network, you can message on Twitter for free. There are two ways to message someone on Twitter. One is to publicly @ message someone, and the other is to privately direct message them.

What Are the Negatives of Twitter Recruiting?

Twitter for a new user can seem overwhelming. There are lots of people conversing about lots of topics. Twitter’s onboarding process is also not very helpful and suddenly you may find yourself being suggested to follow news outlets and celebrities, which can flood your timeline (Twitter-speak for the feed). Keep in mind the following when setting up and building your Twitter profile:

  • It takes time to make Twitter useful. If you expect to join Twitter today and have people applying to your open positions tomorrow, then you are going to be disappointed. Twitter as a platform is built for information sharing, so it takes time to use it for recruiting.
  • It’s tough to get followers. For a new user it is tough to get followers on Twitter. Unlike other networks where people are either “friends” (like Facebook) or “connections” (like LinkedIn), Twitter is built for one way connections. You can follow someone, but that does not mean they will follow you back. If they don’t follow you then they will not be able to see what you post.
  • It takes a village (in this case, an organization). As a lone recruiter on Twitter from a company, recruiting people can be hard. You need employees, leadership and cross-functional help from your colleagues in marketing and communication.

How To Start Recruiting on Twitter

Having gone through the pros and cons of Twitter, here are some ways you can make Twitter an effective channel to inform, attract and get candidates to apply for your open positions.

Step 1: Be Clear About Your Objective

You have to be clear about why you are using Twitter for recruiting. That objective depends on your company’s talent strategy and recruiting needs. Your objective will drive the kind of people you follow and kind of things you post on Twitter.

Step 2: Build an Informative Profile

This is quite basic, but it is surprising how many people get it wrong. If it’s your personal profile, use a relevant Twitter username. For example, if your name is Jane Smith and you’re a recruiter, you may find that the username janesmith or jane_smith is not available. Choose something like Jane_recruiter or Recruiter_Jane. An apt username also helps in searching on Twitter. When a candidate is searching the word“recruiter,” your account is likely to show up (of course, that depends on other factors too).

Use your own picture as your display picture, unless you are using the company careers account. Ideally use the same picture as the one on LinkedIn so that if someone searches for your name on LinkedIn they know you are the same person on Twitter. Use the header picture creatively.

Make the bio as informative as possible. This helps prospective candidates find out more about you and your company. If your company has a Twitter account, mention it in the bio. Fill out your location and URL link. The link could be to either your own website or LinkedIn profile, or it could be a link to your company’s open positions or careers page.

Step 3: Find Relevant People To Follow and Engage on Twitter

Use Twitter search to discover people you might want to follow. Before following them, go to their profile to discover how frequently they post and what content they post. Their profile might state they are a brand manager but if they only post about politics with little to no posts about branding or marketing then they might not be the right people to follow. Use hashtags like #branding or #marketing to discover people who are talking about those topics.

Once you discover and follow relevant people on Twitter, the next thing to do is to start having conversations with them. Remember, most people might not be primarily on Twitter to search for a job. So don’t start by spamming their mentions or DMs by asking them to apply. You might get blocked. It’s better to engage with people who have a few hundred or thousand followers than those who have more than 100K followers. The latter are less likely to reply (though there are exceptions).

Step 4: Get Other Employees To Engage on Twitter

As a recruiter you might not be the best person to engage with candidates with regard to their subject matter. Try to get other employees to be the employer brand advocates and ambassadors on Twitter. Their engagement on Twitter can be linked to the employee referral program and they can be rewarded when people join from their networks.

Extra Tips and Tricks for Recruiting on Twitter

Here are some other things that are helpful once you start getting comfortable using Twitter.

Tip 1: Use Tools To Start Posting and Scheduling Tweets

Using a tool like Tweetdeck can help you keep track of multiple conversations. Each column on Tweetdeck can keep track of specific search terms and lists of Twitter users.

Tip 2: Leverage Twitter Lists

Lists are one of the underrated tools of Twitter. You can create lists that are either public or private. When you add someone to a public list, that person gets a Twitter notification. So if you create a list of “Marketing Experts” and add the people you might be interested in recruiting in the future, they will get to know about it. You can create a list of your employees on Twitter so that you know what they are sharing on Twitter.

You can also subscribe to other people’s public Twitter lists.

Tip 3: Pin Tweets

A pinned Tweet is a Tweet that is on the top of your profile, regardless of when it was posted. You can use it to share more details about your company, the kind of roles you are hiring for or any other details that you want to highlight and do not have space to share in the bio.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Twitter Recruiting

Is it possible to recruit worthwhile employees through Twitter?
It depends on the kind of industry you’re in and how specific you are about location. If you are hiring digitally savvy talent and can offer remote work, then you can find employees through Twitter.
Is Twitter still relevant for recruiting in all industries?
Remember that people on Twitter have networks that extend beyond the social network. Once they get engaged with you and your employees, they can be your source of referral to get their offline connections from all industries to apply.
Gautam Ghosh
Gautam Ghosh

Gautam is a HR professional from India who specialises in the area of Employer Branding and Digital HR. He is the writer of one of the earliest and award winning HR blogs worldwide and has been consistently been ranked by SHRM and Economic Times amongst the most influential HR people in India.

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