Using Twitter For Recruiting – Definitely Maybe

If you’re a Recruiter who has been resisting the idea of checking out Twitter for finding candidates or for sharing your job openings, you’re not alone. But there are several Recruiters and Talent Acquisition pros out there who are finding Twitter to be a fertile new ground for building relationships and accessing potential talent pools that haven’t been previously as accessible through other means. So how do you decide which camp you should be in?

Recently, Joshua Kahn – an Accenture Talent Consultant embedded at Best Buy as a Pipeline Generation Expert – responded to a debate (on Twitter of course) among several Recruiters as to whether or not Twitter is an effective tool for posting jobs by taking to his blog – find+attract – and sharing his thoughts. As with everything I’ve seen from Josh – including his recent presentation at the ERE Social Recruiting Summit – his post on “Should You Post Jobs to Twitter” is spot on. If you’re trying to figure out if Twitter is a tool to add to your Recruiter’s Toolbox, then check out Josh’s post.

Some things Josh suggests considering to determine if Twitter is a viable recruiting tool include:


Ground Zero: Twitter will only be a useful recruiting tool for you if the people you’re trying to hire are on Twitter. (duh)
Obvious Point 1: The number of Followers you have on Twitter matters.

Obvious Point 2: “Who” your Followers are matters.

Obvious Point 3: It’s important to post jobs during high traffic times and maybe more than once.

Obvious Point 4: Use URL shorteners to track your results and determine if your job posting links are being clicked.

Other important things to consider:

  • Use relevant Hashtags to post your jobs.
  • Don’t have a Job Board mentality with Twitter. Remember it’s a social network.
  • Add links and code to your Career Site that allow your jobs to be shared on Twitter.
  • Enable the community of people who have a vested interest in the job to participate on Twitter. (Best Buy uses ConnectTweet to allow multiple employees to tweet via one account.)
  • Follow appropriate Hashtags and Conferences to access potential candidates for your jobs.

Nice “secret sauce” recipe on using Twitter for recruiting by a Candidate Sourcing expert!

What tips and tricks do you think have been left out? Anything you’d add that you’ve found helpful – or not helpful – in using Twitter for recruiting?

President & Chief Talent Strategist

Jennifer McClure is a Keynote Speaker, Talent Strategies Expert and Executive Coach who works with clients and companies in the areas of leadership development, communication and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and empower business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

7 thoughts on “Using Twitter For Recruiting – Definitely Maybe

  1. Great post! The hardest thing for many recruiters I know to understand is the point that Twitter is not a job board (and it’s not a search engine either). They’ve dismissed Twitter since they can’t use boolean to find the perfect candidate, pick up the phone and call them right away. The other thing nobody at the office understands is that if they only tweet opportunities, people aren’t going to come running within five minutes of hitting send. Add value to your followers and build a relationship first and see what happens. We have a corporate Twitter account and it is a struggle when our recruiters want quick and easy results. Maybe a link to this post will magically appear in their inbox this morning… 🙂

  2. I have been using twitter for a couple of months and enjoy your tweets. I am slowing getting the results that I am looking for from a candidate perspective. What do you feel are the keys to be successful in twitter?
    I feel having the right audience is key, but I also hear that posting too much about yourself and your positions turns off followers – what are your thoughts?

  3. I would agree that Twitter is certainly a viable tool for recruiters as it continues to grow on the social networking front. I feel like I learn something new about it everyday. The opportunities for reach with Twitter seem almost infinite, if you’ve got the right following. I’ve noticed some companies carry the “job board” mentality with their twitter accounts, posting open positions in a string of tweets. Creating a relationship with your audience will definitely prove to be of more use at the end of the day.

  4. You’re spot on Alli! The biggest challenge I see with Recruiters who proclaim that Twitter is not a recruiting resource is that they either don’t participate (tweet) at all, or their entire Twitter stream is about their job openings. These accounts usually have very few Followers and as a result very little engagement. I like Josh’s comment that Twitter is a social network, not a Job Board. And for your Recruiter friends who dismiss Twitter as something they can’t use Boolean logic to search, have them check out the magic of Glen Cathey – Boolean Black Belt here Glen says Twitter is definitely “x-rayable”. So potential candidates can definitely be sourced and then good Recruiters will know what to do from there!

  5. Thanks for following me on Twitter Chernee and I’m glad that your efforts are starting to produce results!
    In my opinion, the key to being successful with Twitter is to treat it like a “live” networking event. You have to be a real person who can carry on a conversation and be interesting – not just talk about your job openings – in order to get people to talk with you (and continue to want to talk to you). Just like at a networking event, you should be interested in the people you’re talking to as well – ask questions, comment on their experiences, find common ground, etc. During these conversations, you may run across a person or people who you think may be interested in your job opportunities or may know of someone who will be based upon what you’ve learned about them. So you share your job opportunities with them or ask them if they know someone who may be interested. They’re not offended and don’t feel spammed because you’ve developed a “relationship”. That’s how I view Twitter – although it does take a while to develop the connection online in 140 characters, so it’s important to consistently present yourself as a whole person – a professional, an individual with hobbies and interests, etc.
    I’ve also found sharing information, resources and links to things that may be of interest to those who are following me helps to establish a connection. Typically, if people find what you share to be of value, a desire to reciprocate is created, so when I do ask for referrals or contact someone who may be a possible candidate, they’re usually more than happy to help.
    You’re correct that it’s important to find the right audience on Twitter. Follow people in your industry/profession to learn from and also follow those in the areas you recruit for. You’ll learn from everyone and over time will develop a great network of people who can help you find (or be) the people you’re looking for!

  6. I like the way you think! I tend to see many possibilities with Twitter as well. 🙂 While I agree that companies using their Twitter account as a job posting feed is largely ineffective, I think for some of the larger companies with a strong social media presence it can make sense. For example, I think @ATTJobs does a nice job of pushing out their job openings (and they’ve tweeted jobs over 15k times!). While the account doesn’t have many Followers, there are a number of AT&T Recruiters and employees who are active on Twitter and often re-tweet the content from there to their Followers. They also use the hashtag #jobs to reach more than just the Followers of their Twitter account. So incorporating a boring feed into a larger social media recruiting strategy can be a win, but as you point out, the best results are usually obtained by the actual humans who interact with the content and pass it around to the audience that is engaged with them.

  7. Jennifer- As a ‘job seeker’, I found this post especially interesting. I did begin to follow the group and I have found a few positions that I had not seen previously. Although I have a few target companies, most of my previous communications has been by subscribing to email alerts when a job matches my keywords, not by following their tweets.
    If companies are truly looking for followers, I would expect they would share this on their job search pages on their site (I haven’t seen any yet).
    One thing I must admit about tweetmyjobs….I feel no ‘relationship’ with this one. I do appreciate that they use a consistent string, showing the job title and shortened URL. It makes scanning thru the extra postings easier. I was also able to use their website to filter out the unwanted job postings.
    At this point, I have actually sent 4-5 postings to ‘non-tweeters’, and I have submitted my resume to 5 positions I would not have known about without tweetmyjobs.
    I just thought a job seeker perspective might be useful! Thanks again for your great tweets and informative blogs! I am still a newbie on tweeting, but feel that you are a great mentor on how to use this new tool!

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