While LinkedIn is still used by most for recruiting and job search, Twitter is really emerging as a social media site to start career conversations. From my vantage point, the advantage of Twitter is the speed with which you can begin engaging others. Its casual nature breaks down some conversational barriers that might exist otherwise.
That doesn't mean you can dispense with strategy when it comes to looking for talent using Twitter. Like any kind of recruiting, you want to have a plan and work it to achieve results. To set yourself up for success, here are a few things to consider if you decide to incorporate Twitter into your recruiting efforts.
1. Engage with people
This might sound obvious but if you're only sending out one tweet a week, it will be a challenge to connect with people who might be looking for new opportunities. Getting into conversations and starting to build online camaraderie will benefit you when you begin talking with people about jobs.
And don't forget to talk about your corporate culture! Your Twitter stream should include a variety of information about more than just your product/service. In fact, it would be beneficial to talk about your great workplace long before you start reaching out to potential candidates. Get a little interest going about your company.
2. Follow Recruiters
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. There are many recruiter lists that will allow you to start following the pros. No sense in recreating the wheel if you don't have to.
You can also connect with recruiting communities like Recruiting Blogs (@RecruitingBlogs on Twitter) or ERE (@ERE_net on Twitter) that offer articles, resources and strategies via their Twitter stream.
3. Find some solid job-related hashtags
If you haven't used hashtags, you don't know what you're missing. Simply put, a hashtag is a # sign in front of a word/phrase. Then, those tweets are aggregated for easy search.
To help, Career Rocketeer posted a list of the Top 100+ Job Search Hashtags on Twitter. Some generic ones include #jobs and #internship. But if you want to get more specific, you can check out the activity on #greenjobs or #salesjobs.
You can use hashtags in your job postings so it reaches a wider audience. You can also monitor hashtags to see what job-related activity is happening.
4. Follow associations that might be sources for candidates
For example, I just discovered FohBoh, an online community for the food and beverage industry. They have a Facebook Page, LinkedIn group and Twitter account. If you are searching for food and beverage talent, this could be a great place to connect.
The secret to recruiting isn't to get a whole stack of applications. It's to find the right person at the right time. It's important to note that no one resource should be used to find candidates. But, by strategically planning your message and putting in the time to engage with the community, you can identify talent for your business.
Think of the organizations you might want to tap into for talent. And do a search for them on Twitter. If you're unsuccessful finding them via search, a quick visit to their website might tell you if they're on Twitter.