Sharlyn Lauby is the president of Internal Talent Management (ITM) which specializes in employee training and human resources consulting. She authors a blog at hrbartender.com.
Organizations are using Twitter for just about everything from ecommerce to legislative awareness. Given the variety of messages that Twitter can be used for, why not use it for one of the most critical needs an organization has – finding employees?
While I don't know if Twitter users make better employees, it's no secret that candidates are using Twitter as a job search tool. So companies should go where the candidates are. And when I talk about candidates, I'm referring to those who are actively searching (i.e. unemployed) as well as the people who, under the right circumstances, could be willing to consider a new opportunity (i.e., the passive job seeker).
I've always used my personal experience as a gauge for my recruiting strategy. My first job was based on what I knew and the rest based upon who I knew. So, I made sure I was tuned into the mojo of my best employees; I was always looking for the company's next rockstar... even when the company didn't have an opening. It just makes good business sense to keep this top of mind.
If you're constantly on the lookout for talent, your goal is to create what I call a 'pull' strategy for recruitment — you want to pull candidates in even when you're not actively searching for them. This contrasts with what a lot of companies do, which is wait for an opening to occur and 'push' out employment ads in order to attract job seekers. On the surface this might sound easy, but it does take some planning. You need to build a foundation so you're not viewed as just constantly recruiting.
Here are 5 ways to leverage Twitter to find employees.
1. Connect with People in Your Industry or Local Areas
You should always know what's going on in your backyard - period. There are tons of great Twitter apps out there to help find local twitter users; two good ones are Twitter Local and Tweetmondo. Once you know who the local players are, engage them and draw them into your Twitter community.
Then leverage the relationships you've built online in the face-to-face world. For example, take advantage of the informal settings that Tweetups provide as a way to meet the people you converse with on Twitter. There are social media clubs forming all over the world and many local newspapers and blogs (including ) are hosting Tweetups.
Use this combination of Twitter and Tweetups to build connections with people that might (1) want to work for your company or (2) know someone who does (or both!).
2. Organize your Connections
It's easy to get overwhelmed with quantity on Twitter. But for recruiting purposes, the name of the game is quality. Once you start meeting and following the “A” Players in your industry or geographic area, stay on top of the conversation by separating them from the rest of your Twitter followers.
I'm not saying you need to drop your other friends, rather I am suggesting that you'll want to stay on top of what's happening by putting this conversation is a separate place.
Two of the most popular Twitter applications that allow for categorizing followers are Tweetdeck and Seesmic. Both have their pros/cons, and for a comparison of each, check out this post.
3. Post Jobs Directly (and Get Your Network to RT Them)
Serendipity would be if the job opening and the perfect candidate arrive at the same time. Unfortunately, in the real world that doesn't happen very often. So when you have job openings... post them in your Twitter stream!
And don't be shy about asking your followers to retweet the posting. Most people are happy to retweet items of value – and having a job opening is always a very valuable thing, especially in a down economy.
4. Search using Hashtags (or Create Your Own!)
I believe the real power of Twitter lies in hashtags. Hashtags are essentially a way for Twitter users to organize tweets under topical tags that are included in the tweet itself (for a full guide check out Ben Parr's Getting the Most Out of Twitter Hashtags post). So let's say you have a job opening and you've sent it out to your network, but you want to get it out to the masses. You can use a hashtag to have it show up more readily in search queries.
One good example is the #JobAngels hashtag. This hashtag was created by Mark Stelzner who wondered what would happen if each of us helped one person find a job? Those looking for jobs post using the hashtag and others can help them find open jobs that match their skillset. Employers have used the tag along with job postings as well, so that job seekers can more easily find the listings.
Another way to use hashtags is to search for candidates. Maybe you're not ready to spread the word about a job opening but you want to see who's out there. In May, I created a hashtag called #whatido, because that's the first question people ask when they meet: “What do you do?” I wanted to find out the answer to that question about my followers, so I asked them to post what they did for a living along with that hashtag. I later discovered my recruiting friends were using #whatido as a way to search for candidates – both active and passive.
Finally, here's an example of a company that's using their company name as a hashtag (very creative!) If you have a lot of employees on Twitter, this could be a valuable way for candidates to find you.
5. Set up Alerts
Many of us use alerts to monitor what is being said about our companies or ourselves. But you can also use services like Google Alerts and Notify Me to see what jobs are being offered. Call it competitive intelligence in the job market, if you will. Let's say you're recruiting for a specific position - set up an alert for that position so you can see if anyone else on Twitter is also recruiting for it.
Using Twitter to post jobs might not work for every position but it can be a valuable resource for getting the word out and monitoring the job market. There is also a strong community of experienced recruiting professionals on Twitter that can help you with your efforts.
More Twitter resources from :
- 7 Secrets to Tweeting Your Corporate Culture- 5 Habits of Successful Executives on Twitter- Twitter for Beginners: 5 Steps for Better Tweeting- HOW TO: Use Twitter for Customer Service- 25 Twitter Apps to Manage Multiple Accounts
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has a variety of web 2.0, application development, business development, and social networking job opportunities available. Check them out at 's Job Board.Got a job posting to share with our readers? Post a job to today ($50 for a 30 day listing) and get it highlighted every week on .com (in addition to exposure all day every day in the marketplace).Sharlyn Lauby
Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP is the HR Bartender, whose blog is a friendly place to discuss workplace issues. When she's not tending bar, Sharlyn is president of ...More