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How to Effectively use Twitter as a Recruiting Tool

recruitingSome questions regarding using Twitter as a recruiting tool are still unanswered for many HR executives. How to evaluate the impact of using Twitter to find candidates? How to be sure about the quality of applicants received through Twitter? How to determine the resources to be used for this purpose? Is Twitter equally good to recruit senior personnel through, as it is for young people?

Well these questions can be best answered only as time passes and more and more companies use Twitter for recruitment. It is only through their experiment and experience that this idea will grow and make us realize what are the pros and cons of this method. For now, we can only examine the features of Twitter which the current as well as future employers must exploit in order to make the most of it!

  1. The 140 characters limit on this micro-blogging website should be viewed as a challenge more than a hindrance. According to a Social Media Monitoring Company Radian6 (Now Salesforce Marketing Cloud), “job title, key skill, location(s), hyperlink and hash tag(s)” are the essentials of a job posting Tweet. Of course, there will be hardly any character space available after these! But the point is, the tweet needs to be very precise and to-the-point. Even if it is not a job opening but just a related message, the tweet must convey crisply something or the other special about the company.
  • The previous one directly leads us to discussing how the hash tags must be used. It is a unique feature of Twitter and when searched on, your tweet will get a better page rank only if the concerned term is hash tagged. Relevant hash tags are undoubtedly the most important part of a tweet. But it can also be useful if the employees hash tag the company while tweeting about something important. Any positive comments will earn brownie points for the company and any comment in general can be very useful for a candidate if he/she is looking at the company as their prospective employer.
  • The hash tags have reverse utility as well. And this brings us to the third important aspect of networking through Twitter. How to build a strong network? This has to be done essentially by connecting with users from your own industry; be it persons or companies. Resources must be spent on finding the useful ones and engaging with them. If even the employees can contribute and re-tweet, it will help the company gain goodwill as well as spread a word about its work, philosophy, quality etc. in the market. At the time of need, the company has higher chances of getting quality applicants. This can also lead to referrals by people in the network. At the base of this networking lies the usefulness of hash tags. The company can run a search on a particular key word being discussed and this will give them access to hundreds of users interested and involved in a certain topic. Twitter also allows you to search for people by name, location, industry, interest etc.

This might be true of many social networks but sure is present on Twitter. The variety of organizations that post job openings on Twitter incredible! We certainly have companies from across multiple sectors, be it IT, Finance or even FMCGs, Oils and chemicals, media and practically every industry. But the list does not end here. We see companies announcing internship opportunities along with job openings. To top it all, United Nations posts job openings on Twitter. We see the Embassy of UK, in Japan posting job openings. If that is not enough, we see the Calgary Police tweet about the positions open for recruitment and even the State Government of Colorado was seeking someone for the position of Loss Control Specialist using Twitter!

One of the common arguments made against social recruiting; and which holds true for Twitter as much as other social networks, is that the quality of candidates identified on virtual space is not matching with those identified using traditional methods. Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite once shared a thought provoking insight into this debate. “Those who are on twitter are not introverts and they are also innovative and creative. These people can work easily in teams as well. Very few companies today might be as rigid to not bother about their employees having an understanding of the virtual space.

twitter-recruitingA candidate’s interaction over social networks can communicate a lot about him/her. About the degree of introversion; it needs to be considered based on the job profile that a particular candidate is looking at. Essentially, the Human Resource managers need to carefully screen a candidate based on his/her social network profile. It is possible that at this point in time they might have to spend a lot of resources into this process but as time passes, more efficient methods will evolve and the task will become easier.

In Jobvite’s annual Social Recruiting Survey 2012, the respondents were asked to how they would react to ‘certain items discovered while reviewing a candidate’s social network profile.’ The results were quite interesting. In keeping with the social norms, the respondents agreed to form a negative image of a candidate if his/her profile indicated consumption of substances or contained message of sexual nature or even had wrong spelling or grammar!

All in all, why should a company use Twitter over traditional job boards such as Monster? Well the answer is not straight forward. For one, social recruiting can eliminate passive candidates without much work. But that is only one of the parameters to look at while employing. And over and above a Facebook and a LinkedIn; each and every company must explore their options with respect to different social networks. Twitter surely has certain features which other social networks cannot offer and vice-versa. Everyone must explore these on their own. End of the day, every company must; for itself determine the recruiting methods which work the best for them. And it can always be a combination of traditional as well as social recruiting!

An article by The Recruitment Guru – Dougles Chan



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  1. September 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm —

    Nice post,

    Although i would suggest Linked is way better for Push strategy and Pull for recruitment, and twitter can only be used as a pull strategy by using a hashtag. Further twitter is universal, henceforth it again depends upon the place which you prefer to hire employees

    OpenERP | Social media Experts

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