The 3 Mistakes We See Recruiters Making on Twitter


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If a recruiter wants to get traction on social media fast, our recommendation would usually be to prioritise Twitter. This is because results can be generated faster than on other platforms – and conversations can be sparked in a shorter space of time.

Twitter offers the opportunity to build up a social presence and to engage effectively with both employers and candidates. Whilst many recruiters have jumped on the social band wagon, a brief look at the variety of recruiters’ profiles suggests that success in the Twitter-sphere is currently hit and miss. Some recruiters have really understood what it takes to be successful, whilst the majority are experimenting without knowing how to really leverage it as a business tool.

To help you rise to the top of the pile, we’ve put together 3 of the biggest mistakes we see recruiters making on Twitter.

Making Your First Impression Count

When a candidate or prospective client first stumbles across your profile, there’s only one goal that you should have in mind – persuading that person that you’re someone they should go ahead and follow! Too many recruiters (and indeed businesses) on twitter can’t resist leading with what they do, the services they offer, the types of roles they fill. It’s as if they think that someone might find their twitter profile and immediately call to engage them as a recruitment supplier!

The reality is that business value comes from twitter relationships after a bond has been formed. After you’ve added some value to that contact’s professional life. After they’ve seen how you conduct yourself on twitter. After they’ve got a gut instinct that you’re someone they would like to do business with.

So with this in mind, the sole purpose of your profile is to portray a professional image of yourself or your company and to make it clear to prospective followers what they will gain by following you.

Compare and contrast:

  • Recruiting sales professionals since 1993. We work across a range of sectors. All new job openings shared here!
  • Would you like to accelerate your career in sales? Follow us for daily sales tips and insights | Specialist sales recruiters, reach out anytime!

The former promises candidates a deluge of untargeted job listings. The latter promises them insights that will help them further their career – and a quick glance down recent updates should solidify that this is indeed the value that is being provided.

Consider your bio the shortest pitch you’ll ever give. In it you can include your niche or USP (if you have one), a statement about what people can expect from following you (this may be formal or a little quirky, whatever works for you) and a call to action alongside your contact details / LinkedIn profile.

Strengthen your case by pinning one of your most valuable tweets to the top of your profile – so that new followers are immediately greeted with a recent market update, compelling tip, an invite to join a webinar or something else that’s of value to them.

The other addition to your physical Twitter profile is your visual presence. At the side of every tweet that you send, users will see your photo or brand; this is why it is so important to use a professionally taken photo or image that is easily identifiable even when the image is shrunk in size.

The final thing to say about your profile is that changing your cover photo aka your Twitter background will allow you to create a more professional looking brand – giving you scope to incorporate your company’s imagery, logo, branding and contact details.

Getting Your Profile in front of Your Target Audience

To really make the most of Twitter you need to be pro-active and focused on ensuring that you get your profile in front of the right people. In a recruiter’s case that may mean potential clients or it may mean candidates. It also means other people and organisations out there who reach the people you want to reach but who you’re not directly in competition with (think job boards, careers services, etc.). There are various ways to do this, some that will cost you and some that are free (apart from the investment of time).

Paid solutions are available through Twitter ads or by engaging external experts to work on building your profile for you (see Social-Hire’s social media outsourcing packages). But if you have the time to spare yourself then some initial results can be achieved by:

  • Following other people’s accounts – This is one of the easiest ways to garner new followers as it brings your profile to their attention (though do this in moderation, you don’t want to be perceived as being spammy)
  • Setting up a blog or writing guest posts for other organisations that link back to your profile –if you can produce useful content that is shareable it will help to showcase your expertise. The site that publishes your post will often be willing to promote your twitter profile when they share the content with their followers.
  • Sharing and commenting on other people’s content (obviously selecting only content that will be valuable to your target followers). Helping others should always be done without expectation of anything in return, but if you do focus on helping others you’ll be amazed how quickly this results in lots of people helping you in return!

Only Broadcasting, Not Engaging

On Twitter – just as in life – there is nothing worse than someone who only shouts about their own achievements or activities. Engage with other Twitter users, comment on what they share, join their discussions and generally be a social being. The more you engage with other users the more they will see you as a useful member of their network. In turn they will help your network to grow and ultimately help you to gain new leads. Anyone who has been active on Twitter for 12 months or more should be generating 2 retweets for every tweet published. Really well established profiles can achieve 5 or more retweets for every tweet sent. If you aren’t seeing the reach of your messages multiplied this way, chances are you haven’t got the balance of engagement and interaction right on your account as yet. Try to fix this before concluding that Twitter just isn't going to work for you as a business tool. Chances are it will - you just need to be doing the right things and doing them consistently!

Need more help? Feel free to schedule a time to chat through your social media strategy with one of the Social-Hire team.

About the Author

We're delighted to welcome Leo Woodhead to the Social-Hire team. Leo is an experienced careers adviser with a passion for empowering clients to manage their own careers. Listed as one of the top ten careers advisers to follow on Twitter by the Guardian, he can be found sharing resources and engaging in lively debate on Twitter @thecareersblog. Look out for regular contributions from Leo as he helps us convey Social-Hire's views on a variety of career and recruiting related issues!


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