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Tweeting to recruit: Getting started

August 15th, 2011

About Twitter

Founded in 2006 after a day-long brainstorming session, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging site where users share “tweets” — 140 (or less) character posts where brevity is both a virtue and a necessity. This can also be achieved by embedding links in the post, directing readers to other sites containing a longer article, blog, photo or video of interest. The site currently has more than 200 million users, with 200 million tweets each day. That’s 2300 tweets sent each second!


Getting Started:

Like most social networking sites, it is important to sit back and monitor the conversation before jumping in. Twitter has its own social norms and conventions and before using it to recruit, it is important to become familiar with the site. Try performing key word searches on your company, competitors and industry and look up prominent company leaders. There are many uses for Twitter, including socializing, monitoring current events and news, even checking sports information. Once you grasp the general use of the platform, it is time to start using Twitter to recruit. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Perform Key Word Searches. Consider searching for subject matters that would be of interest to your potential candidates and see who is following these topics. For instance, if you are hiring a marketing specialist, consider looking at the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) account and seek out individuals following it. If you are looking for a new accountant, try searching for words like “finance”, “IFRS” or “audit” and see who is discussing what.

Look up your competitors. See if the competition is currently using Twitter. Find out what information they are posting as well as information on their followers. You may also be able to determine their current employees and contact them about opportunities at your firm.

Take a look in the mirror. See what people are saying about your company online. This will help you formulate your company’s Twitter objectives for both business development as well as recruitment, while gaining some valuable feedback on your operations, customer service, sales and marketing. You may also find out what information your employees are already sharing about your organization.

Look for trending topics. You will find Trending Topics on the right hand column of your Twitter page. This is a phrase or topic that has the largest number of tweets at the given time. It may be because of a political or social occurrence, or the result of a concerted effort by users to raise a topic’s popularity. You can view worldwide trending topics, and some countries and cities have also been localized. Depending on the topic, you may find some relevant information for your recruitment program.

Domestic or international? Look for topics that are of certain interest in the specific markets where you operate. As Twitter is truly global, there is no reason why a recruiter in Vancouver can’t source candidates for their organization’s Asian or European operations. Likewise, with a global job market, consider talent from abroad to fill critical roles where local talent isn’t available.

Find persons of interest. Look up business leaders, politicians, subject matter experts or even celebrities to see what they’re talking about. Depending on your company’s product or service offering, followers of these individuals may be good potential candidates as well.

Connect and recruit. Once you source potential candidates, it is time to connect with them. If they are already following your Twitter feed, you’ll be able to send them a direct message (DM) once you start following them. DMs, or private messages can only be shared if both tweeters are following one another. If not, try tweeting a generic message using their @username, suggesting they contact you. For instance: @JohnDoe Pls follow and DM me about potential opportunities at @ABCcompany. (Note: 74 characters).

New users are flocking to Twitter – nearly half a million per day, according to their recent blog post! With this many users engaging, it’s a great way to reach out to talented, well-connected individuals. Start using Twitter to find potential candidates for your business today!