Social recruiting is a big deal these days and Twitter can be a great weapon, if you use it right.
But, if you simply Tweet out your job vacancies and just hope for the best, you’re missing a few tricks!
Using Twitter involves building a huge, targeted list of followers, engaging with them constantly and then, when they’re all warmed up, advertising vacancies to them.
And it takes some work. A lot of recruiters simply abandon Twitter because it takes time to get traction.
Don’t! If you crack Twitter, you’ll have a free and effective recruiting tool at your very finger tips.
So here’s how you can do that:
1. Make a professional profile.
You can put your logo as your profile picture, but it can look a little impersonal. It’s better to use a headshot or team picture if you want to engage with people – but remember to smile!
In the same vein, you want to attract people and entertain them, so use a good, compelling picture for the Header.
You could use a team photo, a picture of your products or even an artistic show with a compelling inspirational quote that reflects your company’s culture.
Make sure you fill out your short description that covers who you are and what you do – and you can even include a link to your Facebook, LinkedIn, blog (or similar). The more CTAs the better.
Again, you need to be approachable, so fit a little humour into your 160 characters if you can.
2. Use your pinned Tweet.
Not everybody knows about the pinned Tweet, but it can be really useful for showing your most important information.
Your pinned Tweet stays at the top of your profile feed and so is the first thing people will see.
So, use it as a call to action!
Add your contacts details, your Facebook page address and even an email address where they can get in touch (use a new email address – you don’t want to receive spam).
Alternatively, you could use your pinned Tweet to advertise featured jobs. So if there’s something you’re struggling to recruit for, Tweet the details (using a compelling picture) – and then pin it.
3. Tweet regularly.
It can be soul-destroying in the early days and people often give up completely after a month of tweeting to 10 followers.
But you won’t get followers without putting in the effort. You can buy followers, but that is less than pointless. You need an organic list and that will take time.
The best way to stay on top of this is to use a social media management tool.
Some people swear by Buffer.
Recurpost is my personal favourite, though, because it can also post to Facebook and Google+ and it’s free to send up to 10 Tweets a day.
It’s important to keep things fresh, up to date and interesting for your followers…
4. Be interesting.
It’s not all about you!
This is social media and nobody owes you anything. So, if you want to boost your list and get people to engage with you, then you have to make it worth their while.
Think about your target audience and what they want to read.
Send out links to industry stories on leading blogs, major news stories of the day, region specific news and even heartwarming videos that could brighten someone’s day.
Be funny, be different and grab their attention.
Inject some personal humor into it, and let your following into your life.
Of course, the point is to have a responsive crowd ready when you send out a job. But don’t make it all about you and your company.
Twitter’s own research has shown that attaching a picture boosts engagement by 35%.
Including a number in your Tweet boosts your Retweets by 17% and you’ll get 16% more Retweets if you use the right hashtags.
5. Don’t just guess at hashtags.
In the Instagram age, hashtags have become something of a running joke. But they started out on Twitter and they’re more important than ever.
A hashtag acts as a filter and more and more people have their Twitter set-up so they only see properly tagged posts that interest them.
So, do your research and make sure you’ve got the right ones. Over time this will make a massive difference to your digital reach.
For a quick start, you can look here: Top Twitter hashtags for recruitment.
6. Follow other people.
Twitter is like a party. You can’t stand in the corner and wait for people to introduce themselves.
You’ve got to get yourself out there. Treat it like a networking opportunity and think about who you want to speak to.
That can be other recruiters, agencies and industry thought leaders.
Also target local businesses, because you’ll attract more local followers as a result of this networking and you never know where and when a business opportunity might arise.
Again, there are a number of tools that can help you narrow down your search to people in your region and industry.
This is time consuming work, but it’s worth doing.
Another option is to use a paid service like Social Quant, which automatically follows up to 1000 people a day, and then unfollows them several days later if they don’t return the favour.
It isn’t cheap, at £18.80 a month, but it will grow your list exponentially and save you time.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the great social media tools you could be using to aid your recruitment drive, check out this blog post!
7. Follow back.
People may add you but if you don’t return the favour, they’ll not stick around.
A lot of them might be using tools like Social Quant, but others will simply feel you have rejected their offer of digital friendship and unfollow you.
Take a few minutes every day to go through your new followers and, if they’re even close to relevant, follow them back.
Even if you don’t end up hiring them, and they don’t end up hiring you, they might retweet your messages and indirectly put you in touch with great candidates.
Twitter is what you make of it, but it is full of potential. So, nurture any connection that could just possibly be useful.
8. Engage with industry leaders.
This is one of the fastest ways to build your profile and your following.
Identify thought leaders in your industry, as well as the local captains of industry.
Retweet them regularly and respond to their Tweets.
Questions are a great way to start a conversation, just make sure you don’t harass an individual because they were nice to you once!!
These conversations are public. Their followers will see your interaction and potentially follow you as well.
That means you should get some relevant, engaged Twitter users.
To help you keep track of your favourite people to Retweet and speak to, you can create Twitter lists that will save you a lot of time in the long run.
9. Don’t send auto DMs (direct messages).
Most hardened Twitter users don’t even check their inbox anymore, because it’s overflowing with spammy automated messages trying to point them to a website or free eBook.
It might seem like a good idea but today’s Twitter users are simply jaded by this approach and it’s a surefire way to lose new followers.
10. When you send a job out, do it repeatedly.
Hopefully, after doing all of the above, you will have a nice, healthy list of Twitter followers.
So now all you have to do is send your job out and wait for the replies, right?
The problem is that each Tweet has a lifespan of about 18 minutes according to a 2012 study by social media bible Moz. So, only a very small fraction of your following is going to see each Tweet.
(I actually think it’s a lot less time than this, if you watch how quickly your feed moves!)
Of course, if you send the same Tweet out every few minutes then you’ll drive some people mad.
You have to strike a balance and get a feel for your audience, but do not feel bad about sending the same job out four times a day to make sure that a fair few people have seen it.
Vary the times and make sure you’re getting the right level of engagement, but this is why you spent the time to build the list in the first place.
11. Consider spending a little money.
You can shortcut the whole process of building your list if you pay for Twitter advertising.
It’s relatively cheap, it will increase the reach of each job advert exponentially and it will help you connect with people you might never have found otherwise.
Even if you have a large following, it can still be useful to try a paid Tweet and gauge its impact.
If spending £10 on a Tweet means that you don’t have to place a much more expensive advert for a job, then it’s good business.
The essence of Twitter recruitment is to build a massive list of followers in your region, or your field, engage with them regularly and then just casually let them know when there’s a position available.
Treat Twitter like a long-term project, nourish it every day, engage with the right people and over time it will blossom into one of the brightest recruitment tools in your box.
And of course, this kind of activity will also work wonders for your employer brand!
There is no quick fix and it will take time, but in the long run it will pay off massively.
If you’d like to find out more about social recruiting – check out this blog post.
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