140 characters doesn't feel like a lot, but if you play it right it can be enough to convince candidates that your company is the real deal.
A huge 58% of job seekers use Twitter in their search - the network actually has more active candidates than professionally minded LinkedIn. It seems crazy to not use Twitter for recruitmen t and ignore anywhere with this many active candidates!
Also, the best recruiting opportunities on Twitter are free. There are no 'recruiter' licences to pay or subscriptions to sign up to.
You can use ads to extend the reach of your tweets, but if you take our advice, this shouldn't be necessary.
Here's why you should use Twitter for Recruitment:
1. Discover candidates and start conversations
At a time when many candidates are shutting down their LinkedIn profiles and leaving the professional network, it helps to have another bullet in your chamber.
Twitter might not have the wealth of professional information that LinkedIn has, but it's got nifty advanced search functionality that helps you find candidates and it's definitely more geared to conversation and relationship building.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
i) It's easy to get to know candidates
LinkedIn gives you a great snapshot of skills and experience, but at Beamery we've definitely found that Twitter gives you more insight into what candidates are _really _like.
A quick look through a candidate's recent tweets and the accounts they're following will give you a great idea of their interests and whether they might be a culture fit for your company.
Keep an eye out for 'retweets' (tweets that users have forwarded on to their followers). This is a neat way of seeing the kind of people that candidates respect and the ideas that they're enthusiastic about.
ii) It's easy to start conversations
It's easier to start a conversation on Twitter than LinkedIn. You don't have the barrier of inmail acceptance, you can just go ahead and reach out to relevant talent.
Now bear in mind that if you just spam candidates with information about your role you're unlikely to hear anything back! Make sure you personalize your tweets and reference information you've found in the candidate's profile.
In fact, it's often better to follow candidates for a while before you reach out. This lets you see the style of their interactions and helps you understand what kind of outreach would work best for the initial connection.
If you take this approach I'd recommend 're-tweeting' some of the candidate's tweets after you start following them - everyone likes a little flattery!
2. Highlight your top performers
Authenticity is the key to winning the trust and attention of candidates on Twitter. People are usually pretty wary of corporate slogans and looking to make a human connection.
These doubts mean that your employees are your secret weapon. They're the most trusted influencers when communicating to candidates about their company, and can be the key to a successful Twitter strategy.
In many roles, workers end up spending more time at the office than they do with their families. Can you blame them for wanting to know what the people they'll be sitting next to at work are really like?
I know what you're thinking. My team is swamped, the last thing they're going to have time with is to start chatting to people on social media.
Well, you can incentivise your top performers to engage with candidates on Twitter by offering referral bonuses for people that apply after interacting with them.
You don't need any fancy referral software for this, just give each employee a unique link to your open roles or careers page which they can share in their interactions with candidates.
You can then track this link to monitor how many candidates actually apply using it. This can be done pretty simply using a tool like Bitly.
If you want to start using your employees as a recruiting tool on Twitter, data shows that you're in pretty good company. After announcing job openings, highlighting specific employees is the most common subject of Fortune 500 tweets.
AT&T, for instance, uses the #LifeAtATT hashtag to feature employees who describe their responsibilities, dish out career advice and explain what it’s really like to work at the company.
3. Amplify your Employer Brand
Building your employer brand is your best chance of turning your company into a talent attraction magnet.
Every touchpoint you have with a candidate is an opportunity to spread your message and win more brand advocates, the fact that Twitter offers the opportunity for thousands of these touchpoints each day makes it a great place to amplify your brand.
There are a key few tactics that you can employ to amplify your Employer Brand on Twitter.
i) Run multiple Twitter handles
If you're serious about using Twitter for recruitment, you might end up with a company feed that's pretty dominated by hiring-specific tweets.
As a result, many companies create a separate recruiting Twitter handle to announce open positions, post company culture videos and articles, highlight key employees and advertise upcoming recruitment events.
This gives job seekers a targeted stream that they can follow to stay in the loop with new opportunities, ask career questions and learn about company culture.
This is especially important for companies such as Disney, whose customer base, namely children and families (@Disney), and target audience for recruiting (@TWDCjobs) are very different. In fact, our of the Fortune 500, 174 companies have a dedicated 'recruiting account'.
If you're looking for an example of a company that really nails this approach, take a look at Hootsuite's #hootsuitelife account which shares anything from job tweets to pictures of team events (they also have an awesome blog that does the same).
ii) Use video
You'd probably rather watch House of Cards on Netflix than read the script right? (Possibly a slightly unfair question)
Similarly, most candidates would always rather watch short videos on your company or short employee testimonial clips than read your company careers site.
Twitter now lets you embed video directly into your stream, so candidates can watch entire clips without ever leaving the platform.
This makes it far easier to get important content in front of prospects. You don't have to rely on them clicking on links that you tweet out and navigating your website, you just need them to hit play.
Nowadays, the average attention span is terrifyingly short so the easier you make the process the better.
iii) The power of the hashtag
Twitter can be a pretty crowded space. With an average of 500 million tweets being sent per day, it’s easy for information to get lost among the masses.
Hashtags make it easy for Twitter users to cut through the noise and find exactly what they're looking for. Users can search for specific hashtags and then filter all the tweets that fit the bill.
Companies can use branded hashtags, like #GEJobs (jobs at General Electric), to make it easy for job seekers to find out about open roles. No matter how many tweets come after the initial job announcement, job seekers will always be able to locate it.
Perhaps more useful though, is the potential of hashtags to define a company audience.
For example, organisations interested in reaching more veterans can use hashtags like #veterans or #veteranjobs and companies who are only interested in hiring in London can make their tweets location specific by including a #london hashtag.
There are plenty of possibilities here. The key is narrowing your audience to make sure your tweets appeal to your target candidates.
If you invest the time to get to grips with Twitter and use the techniques we've outlined above then you might find that it starts to become a pretty effective recruiting tool.
Remember: you can do more than you might think with 140 characters...