27 August 2009

HOW TO: Leverage Twitter When Hiring

Here are 5 ways to leverage Twitter to find employees

1. Connect with People in Your Industry or Local Areas
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 (TweetDeck) and Seesmic (Seesmic). 

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.

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