#SocialRecruiting and the Hashtag

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Hand sketching bird holding a hashtag symbol  The hashtag has quickly become a powerful tool in social media, and therefore social recruiting. If you’re feeling like you’re the last person on earth who doesn’t know what a hashtag is, or how to use it, you’re not; there are at least nine of you. I kid. Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey revealed that 71 percent of survey respondents consider themselves to possess only moderate to exceptional social recruiting skills. You’re not alone.

Hashtags 101

Hashtags started on Twitter but they were so effective and popular that many social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have incorporated them into their features. When a hashtag is added to a word or phrase in a post, that word or phrase is made searchable. Others using that same hashtag can search for results from others talking about the same subject.

For example, you type “#Recruiting” into the Twitter search bar, and every user who incorporated that hashtag in their post will appear. By including it in your own post, you then become part of that hashtag stream.

  • It does not matter where in the post the hashtag is present: beginning, middle or end.
  • Each word or phrase that is intended to be part of the hashtag needs no space. #RecruitingHacks will get very different results than #Recruiting #Hacks.
  • An account that is protected or private won’t be searchable by hashtag.
  • Keywords are key! An example of what not to do: #Happy #Monday #Everyone!
  • You can use as many hashtags in a post as you want.

Using the Hashtag in Recruiting

#Jobs is a really simple hashtag that companies can add to a listing tweet to increase their search-ability.

#CityName is important to add for those positions that are intended for local hires. A tip from @Blogging4Jobs ’ Jessica-Miller Merrell : “Remember that on Twitter you have a limited number of characters so abbreviations are common. Consider searching for both.” (Eg: #Chicago or #Chi)

#IndustryKeywords such as #tech or #java will get you into targeted streams or conversations.

#JobTitles like #copywriter or #graphic designer will open up a world of those workers.

Recruiting hashtags are definitely not limited to these and they can all be used together to get a more defined search. There are plenty more where those came from on Career Enlightenment’s “50 Hottest Twitter Hashtags for Job Seekers ”.

Chats, Contests, Quizzes

The hashtag allows people from around the world to conduct simple online chats as well. Recruiting site Talent Culture has a weekly chat called #TChat for recruiting pros. Users can weigh in on questions under the same hashtag. Companies can start their own chats, contests or quizzes with customers, employees or candidates. When choosing a hashtag, it is best to keep it simple, short and as informative as possible.

Showcase the Employer Brand

Southwest uses the hashtag #HaveFunAtWork for their employees to connect with others who love their jobs. This stream includes pictures, videos and updates that are all employer branding gold. Starting a hashtag like this one is simple; you just have to get the ball rolling. For example, if ConAgra were to create one, it could be something like: #ConAgEmp –a hashtag for workers from a large company to come together socially.

In the same Jobvite survey, 54 percent of respondents use Twitter for their talent search. Twitter is a huge opportunity to broaden your recruiting reach, and tools like the hashtag are a fantastic way to target that reach. It’s not an exact science, and you may find that this isn’t a recruiting avenue for you, but it’s worth a shot. Play around with keywords and searches and see what comes up!

By Maren Hogan