Social media is quickly becoming the place to find an answer to almost any question. What time does my favorite restaurant open? Check it's Facebook. What should I make for dinner? Look at your Pinterest boards. Where can I find good job candidates? Go to Twitter. My company Software Advice, a source for HR technology reviews and comparisons, recently published the results of our Recruiting Channels Survey, and one of the biggest trends we found is that recruiters are incorporating social media in their candidate searching process.
As you'll see via the link above, we asked recruiters to share the channels that have been generating the most candidates for them, those that have provided the best quality candidates - and those where they plan to expand their budget most sharply this coming year. Social media was the number three source of candidates by volume, and delivered the second best quality of candidates—beaten only by employee referrals. Most notably, almost half of all the recruiters participating said they would increase their investment in social media channels over the coming year.
Any blog out there will tell you that you need to be using social media for recruiting, but none of them tell you how your should use it. To find our answer, we went to the best source we could think of - Twitter's own Recruiting Programs Officer, Anitra Collins. Collins runs @JoinTheFlock, Twitter's recruiting handle, and gave us some tips on how you can use Twitter to recruit like Twitter. Hint: it's more than Tweeting a link to a job posting and calling it a day.
While Collins does Tweet the occasional job description with link, she keeps @JoinTheFlock engaging by Tweeting compelling content. One of her biggest strategies is to get other employees to Tweet about openings in their department, then she will re-Tweet them, which increases the Tweet's overal exposure. As she says, “We get the help of our hiring managers to Tweet out job listings to their followers for extra visibility.”
By sharing Tweets from that don't come straight from an authority figure, Collins makes @JoinTheFlock feel more like a friendly community, rather than a cold, recruiting machine.
When searching for a new job, candidates want to know about the company as much as they want to know about they job. Do you celebrate Taco Friday? Does your company hold regular parties or Happy Hours? Show your followers your office's unique culture by Tweeting about these events, or even better, re-Tweeting happy employees. The best advocate for your company is an employee who enjoys coming to work everyday.
Even if your company doesn't host many events, you can still clue people in to the exicitng happenings at the office. As Software Advice's HR Analyst, Erin Osterhaus explains, “You can use employee Tweets to communicate what's happening in your office, such as when you land a new client or finish up a big project. Encourage your staff to Tweet what they’re doing while at work and make sure to retweet--the fact that it’s coming from an employee handle and not makes the message more believable and accessible than if it had originated solely from a company account.”
Another one of Collins' top strategies is using hashtags. By using relevant and commonly searched hashtags, you get your message to a larger audience, especially those who don't already follow you. They also help you focus on a particular target audience. If someone is looking for a job in software development, they might search certain tags, such as #hadoop, #CMS, #UX or #TechTalent. By including hashtags in a job post, these candidates will be able to find you much easier.
Collins also takes advantage of conferences that Twitter employees attend. “To fill a specific role, we might look at the hashtags for a conference taking place in that field, and look at the profiles of the attendees who are Tweeting or on a Twitter list,” Collins said.
By using a current employee’s Tweet about the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), @JoinTheFlock will show up when #oscon is searched by conference attendees, who may also be looking for new job opportunities.
To keep @JoinTheFlock's Twitter feed exciting, Collins has begun to incorporate videos into her regular tweets. “We are in the process of developing Vine videos to share, and of course we point to our Twitter YouTube channel when we have something new,” she said.
Video gives candidates a first-hand look at your office and makes them feel as if they're actually there. This is also another great opportunity to re-Tweet employees, like this one who shared a video of a casual James Blunt concert in the middle of Twitter's corporate office.
Start Conversations with Candidates
While using attention catching elements like video and pictures is very important to Collins' strategies, she always makes sure to make connections with candidates. "We do Tweet directly at candidates who appear qualified, point them to our current listings. These exchanges make the process much more personal,” she said.
She also looks at candidates' Twitter profiles to pick up on information that wouldn't normally be included on a resume. Collins looks for style, communicative prowess, personality, interests, and much more to get a good sense of the person as a whole.
In the end, Twitter is a great way to expose new people to what your company has to offer. If you follow these tips from Twitter’s own recruiting team, your company has the potential to grow its following and its talent pool—and at an astounding rate. So, get Tweeting!
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