In the past I looked at recruiting with the use of Twitter as a throwaway. It was something I was aware of but never really did myself. I think the main issue was that no one really talked about how to go about using it effectively. I’m sure plenty of people have their secrets and success stories, however when it came to actual discussion around the topic the details were scarce.

In light of this, I would like to present what I now believe are 5 effective ways to use Twitter as a useful recruitment tool. I’m not suggesting these tips will ensure you hire that next CFO who will take your business to the next level, however they will help you attack that next req you are battling. After all, success in recruiting is determined by how well we use the wide variety of tools at our disposal.

1. Hashtags

In my opinion, hashtags are the greatest thing about Twitter. It wasn’t until I fully understood how hashtags worked before I could fully appreciate it. They allowed me to enter into conversations on topics that mattered to me, instead of just having to see what was on the mind of whoever I was connected to on social media. This is probably a no-brainer, but because hashtags are the #1 tool to connect you to the audience you are seeking, they deserve to be on the list, regardless of how simple it may sound. Wanna’ get in front of a prospective candidate? There’s no quicker way than a hashtag.

2. Search bar

The search bar on Twitter can be used the same way as any search bar on any ATS or jobs board. Type in ‘Java Developer’ and ‘Philadelphia’ and you will find profiles that match this search. You may not have all the information you need to recruit them (phone number, email, resume, etc.) but you will have one of the most important pieces of information; a name.

3. Insight into personal life

Recruiters try their best to break down the stuffy, professional nature that tends to exist in the recruiter/ candidate relationship. One way of doing this is being able to connect on a personal level. The good news about Twitter is that most profiles are allowed to be viewed by the public. One quick scan of a candidate’s Twitter profile and you can find one or two points to relate to them more personally. By no means is there is a need to stalk the person, however if you notice they are just as big a fan of the local sports team as you are, this information can be added into conversations to help you to create a stronger relationship with them.

4. Follower lists

Something I learned early on in my career was to research industry events. Looking for an IoT Security expert? Why not check out the latest IoT Security industry event and get a hold of their guest list? It makes sense that your potential candidate is probably attending, and that his or her name would be on that list. A Twitter account’s follower list works the same way, however the information is free, unlike that guest list you will most likely need to pay for. It stands to reason that an IoT Security expert is following an IoT Security-based twitter account. So, just click on that account’s followers list and start scrolling. This may be a bit tedious, but if you are willing to do the work you can reap the rewards.

5. Modern day social recruiting

It can be argued that the original social media platform for recruiting was LinkedIn. Now there is a growing thought process out there that LinkedIn is being somewhat phased out. As a result, candidates aren’t updating their LinkedIn page which means the information on their page is outdated. Maybe your prospective candidate has a blog, GitHub, Behance or one of the many other professional social sites out there? Chances are LinkedIn will not show this information. I for one have been able to use a candidate’s Twitter account to see what social site they are utilizing for their professional career. Whether it is a tweet linking to something they recently did on GitHub or a blog link in their profile description, Twitter allows me to easily find this information.

Twitter may not be the only site you use to find that next star candidate, but as recruiters we must use every tool at our disposal to turn that purple squirrel into our next placement. If you’re not using Twitter because you think it’s ineffective, just think about it like this; you wouldn’t use a hammer to do the job of a wrench. The tool isn’t the problem, how we use it can be.

Image: Shutterstock

About Chadd Balbi

Chadd Balbi is a seasoned recruiting professional with extensive experience in full life cycle recruiting and business development in both Corporate and Staffing environments. His emphasis is on strong recruiting, business development and client relationship focus. Specializing in the IT staffing industry. Follow Chadd on Twitter @CFBRecruiter.

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