Twitter And Recruitment

by Traci K and BrightMove Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software

We have progressed far enough into the age of online recruitment that utilizing social media is definitely not a new concept. However, many recruiters may underestimate the utility of Twitter with the highly informal setup and content limitations. Even with the 140 character limit, Twitter can generate a response if used correctly.

Twitter Account

If one has not already been created, a Twitter account should be set up for your company with the sole purpose of distributing company information such as open positions. This way candidates that are interested will follow your organization and hopefully watch for new job openings. Do not use your personal account to push positions. You’ll have less applicants subscribing as they will not want to read your personal tweets to get to those regarding company news and possible employment opportunities.

Tweet Language

With only 140 characters, the phrasing with which you post a job on Twitter is crucial. Obviously, you should keep things simple. A quick announcement that you have a job opening and a link to your site or online application is all that is necessary. Try not to take up multiple tweets to communicate one opening. If you must use more than one tweet, end each one with a #/total (ex. 1/3) to show the tweet number in the series and the total number of tweets for the same topic. Also, use hash tags (explained below) to allow public users to find your tweet in a search and include shortened URLs to stay within the character limit.

Hash Tags

If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, you probably aren’t familiar with hash tags. The idea for the hash tag was created by Twitter users originally. By inserting a “#” next to important or relevant words, it categorizes the tweet based on those words and allows users to find it when searching for that particular reference. For example, if you inserted #Accounting into your tweet, when users searched for “Accounting”, your tweet would show up in the results. It can be a turnoff to readers if too many hash tags are used in a single tweet. Best practice recommended by Twitter is to observe a limit of three hash tags in a single tweet. If you are looking for internet or social media-savvy candidates, include the hash tag “#NAJ”. Those that know the lingo will understand it means “Need a job?” and may even be searching for this abbreviation specifically.

Shortened URLs

In order to fit your link in the tweet, you will probably have to condense your URL. The easiest way to do this is by using a service such as goo.gl or bit.ly to shorten the address. These services will compress the URL and many can also provide statistics on volume and frequency for clicks on your link. Using bit.ly you simply have to add a “+” after the shortened URL to activate the statistics feature. Danny Sullivan for Searchengineland.com provides a comparison of URL shorteners for the Twitter amateur.

Tweet Examples

Keep it short and sweet, include hash tags and shorten your URLs. Job postings should look similar to these:

  • Candidates needed for exciting #finance opportunities in the Seattle area. Apply now @ http://bit.ly/abcdef #jobs #ABC Company
  • Change your life in a #job at #ABC Company! We’re hiring motivated salespersons in #Chicago, #Indianapolis. More info @ http://bit.ly/abc

Don’t shortchange your social media recruiting efforts by not including Twitter among them. As easy as word is to spread on Facebook, retweeting may be even easier. Once you get the hang of it, the effort will become minimal and the return on your time investment will be worth it.

Traci K. is an HR professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in recruitment and immigration.  When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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