Twitter Recruiting Hacks

recruiter tipsRecruiters tend to get Linkedin. It closely resembles a job board and it’s easy enough to do advanced searches. Facebook recruiting is pretty obtuse and so far, recruiting on Facebook is more for leveraging your personal connections or perhaps building up a fun corporate fan page. But Twitter for recruiting? The topic couldn’t be talked about more, but do many recruiters really use Twitter frequently with success? It seems to require a lot of work… and who wants to work?

Fortunately, getting some good candidates on Twitter isn’t impossible, and it’s at least plausible that it’s a different candidate set than you might find on other places. Twitter still has that “first mover” advantage – meaning, if you contact a candidate on Twitter, they think “Woah, cool… that recruiter knows how to use Twitter. I better call him or I won’t look cool.” The same held true for Linkedin response rates of two years ago – everyone responded because it was a new medium of communication. Response rates on Linkedin still seem to be really good, but I’m sure they will decrease over time.

Recruiting on Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean dicing up your life in 140 characters every time you have a thought or read an article. The old “post and pray” approach works and applies to Twitter – as long as you don’t spend much time posting and move on to actively sourcing candidates. Twitter can be “just another” method for finding a candidate once in a while; the key is just to implement certain processes and then don’t give it another thought.

If you implement these simple Twitter recruiting hacks, you won’t open yourself up to a nirvana of passive candidates and industry recognition, but you might just get a candidate once in a while. These Twitter recruiting tricks are really for people who don’t want to “do” Twitter!

  1. Automate Job Posts: Get your jobs on Twitter. The easiest way (and it’s free) is to use an existing RSS feed. If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, ask someone if your corporate website publishes it. If not, are your jobs on Indeed? If they are on Indeed (which they should be), all you do is run a search for your jobs and then copy the link called “RSS Job Feed” on the right hand corner. Start an account at Twitterfeed and copy that RSS into the account. Twitterfeed will push your jobs out to Twitter. There is an option on Twitterfeed to add text to the end of your Twitter updates. Add #jobs and maybe even a state, city, or industry related keyword if all of your jobs are in a particular vertical.
  2. Automate Following: Buy a cheap piece of software that allows you to automatically follow certain people. For example, you might recruit marketing folks in Chicago. You might want to set up your account to follow everyone who has the keyword marketing in their profile and are located in Chicago. You’ll also want to follow popular Twitter users in Chicago, and anyone popular in the marketing industry. If you Google something like “auto follow Twitter,” you should come up with a good list of Twitter software tools.
  3. Automate Updates: This isn’t in the spirit of social media, but then again, it may just work. Grab some RSS feeds (remember those things) of popular blogs for your industry, profession, and/or geographic location for which you recruit. Have your Twitter software send out those RSS feeds on your behalf – but be sure that you are doing this cautiously and not spamming the Twitter world. You’ll want to make sure that they are only sending out updates once every few hours or so. Another trick is to find out who the popular Twitter users in your area of recruitment and simply push out their blogs. It’s an easy way to get on their good side.
  4. Automate Contact: Don’t rely on people to contact you through Twitter or any social media. Your contact link in your Twitter profile should be an easy to use contact form or website with a phone number. Make everything as easy as possible on candidates – don’t make them direct message you and wait for a response.
  5. Automate Research: Twitter isn’t just for pushing out updates; it’s also for searching. However, searching Twitter updates really isn’t what recruiters should be spending their time doing. You want to focus on profile data and the ability to map out lists of followers and company data. The best way to do this is through an analysis tool. One such tool is called Nodexl – Google it. With this, you’ll be able to download lists of Twitter followers and profile data. You can import this data into applicant tracking systems and use the data for client mapping and candidate sourcing. One interesting method of sourcing using Twitter analysis tools like Nodexl is to instantly uncover a particular user’s connections. If you are recruiting those marketing professionals in Chicago, it might be worth downloading the followers of a few key marketers or your very specific target candidates for sourcing research.

These five steps really are Twitter hacks – tricks of the trade that (when it comes down to it) are social recruiting shortcuts. If you are really interested in Twitter as a primary recruitment method (good luck, by the way), you probably should not use these methods. A real comprehensive social media recruitment strategy has to include a lot of personal work, commitment, and time. A Twitter recruiting effort that you put a lot of work into will probably yield good results – but if you’re looking to just use Twitter as a secondary tool without much thought, these five methods make Twitter recruiting a no-brainer.

in Social Recruiting]
Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for Recruiter.com covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.