Of all the platforms you might use for Social Recruiting, Twitter ranks as my favourite. If you’re just starting out in social recruiting, Twitter is also the platform I’d recommend checking out first. Why’s that?
1) It’s transparent
2) It fosters real-time discussion
3) It allows you to be responsive to candidates, without being a huge time drain
4) It’s fun
So why are these things important?
Twitter is Transparent
One of the biggest frustrations of social recruiting can be the platforms themselves getting in the way of what you’re trying to achieve. With Twitter’s rivals, the platforms are constantly evolving – or have hidden flaws and tricks that you have to know about to be a success. The implication is that you have to read a great deal – and be on top of the latest developments – to stand a chance of generating compelling candidate results. You also have to be ever-ready to cope with functions being discontinued or rules being changed in a way that negatively impacts on your strategy. With Twitter, things are quite different. The sheer simplicity of the platform means you can be up and running in no time – and can quickly start watching and learning from the behaviour of the more established and successful recruiters.
Of course there are some gems of advice on how to be more effective on Twitter, but by and large if you want to emulate the success of someone you can freely see who they are following, how they’re interacting, what language is working for them, etc.
Twitter Fosters Real-Time Discussion
Twitter has one awesome advantage over every other platform I can think of (Google+ comes a close second, but the other networks are nowhere to be seen in this respect). Twitter is something that people either have on throughout the working day on their PC – or it’s something they’ll at least check in on regularly. As such, real-time conversations flourish. For recruiting – where striking when the iron is hot is so very important – this is an element of the platform that is really compelling. It also means the time required to forge a good relationship with a new contact can be just hours or days, rather than weeks or months on more static networks.
Twitter Allows You To Be Responsive To Candidates
If you consider the single-biggest complaint candidates have had since the arrival of the internet and corporate careers sites, it’s that their job applications disappear into a black hole and leave them with no means of following up with recruiters. Indeed there’s been little means of interacting with recruiters or staff of a company at any stage in a candidate’s job search process. Until the arrival of social media that is.
The challenge for recruiters is balancing the need to be responsive to candidates with the constraints of the working week. No company wants to face a social media backlash from candidates disgruntled at their lack of responsiveness. But equally recruiters can’t get sucked into lengthy correspondence with each and every candidate who wants to engage. Twitter is the perfect compromise. With its 140 character limit, the medium is ideal for showing a caring side yet capping the time input required to do so.
Twitter Is Fun
There’s a great saying in sales that “enthusiasm sells”. This is so true of social media too! If someone is excited, enthusiastic, open, welcoming, engaging – these sentiments are transferred in your social media interactions too. The ‘chatty’ nature of Twitter – and the fact you can engage without a huge commitment of time – I have found means recruiters have more fun on Twitter than anywhere else. Your personality comes across more favourably – and that rubs off on the success you’ll have in engaging candidates.
Of course if you’re a committed Twitter user already, you’ll have experienced these upsides yourself. But maybe you’d not singled out the reasons why it’s such a powerful social recruiting tool. If you’re not yet a committed Twitter user, the above should have persuaded you that you’re missing out and that this is a network to prioritise (provided you can see your target candidate audience hang out here).
So given the potential to use Twitter as a social recruiting tool, what are some things that you should be focusing on doing? What can I advise you should do to emulate the success of the most established Twitter recruiters? I conclude the article with 7 tips you can implement right away to propel yourself to social recruiting success on Twitter:
7 Tips For Recruiters On Twitter
1) Cut right back on promoting your company or your jobs and focus on sharing valuable content / helping others. A highly engaged audience who are occasionally exposed to your promotional messages will yield far greater returns than a disinterested audience being exposed to them incessantly
2) Focus on following relevant accounts who are actually active on the platform (note: lots of profiles are zombie accounts, so you can lose tons of time here if you get this wrong)
3) Strike the right balance between scheduling tweets and being available online to respond to resulting enquiries
4) Use twitter tools to manage who you follow and to be alerted to those you should prioritise engaging with
5) Streamline your process for finding great content and resources to share, so that you can do so with the minimum of demand on your time
6) Comment on others’ tweets and ask open questions – stimulate conversations being sparked with your followers and potential followers
7) Have a strategy and a plan for twitter – and then stick to it. Like many social media platforms, Twitter can become a huge time drain if you allow it to be. Having a plan – and being disciplined in sticking to it – is the key to avoiding this.