Recruiting Tools 2015: Twitter and Facebook?

While the fundamentals of sourcing remain timeless—attracting the notice of great candidates and encouraging them to get in touch with your organization—there are now more ways than ever to go about it. Is Twitter one of them? Facebook?

By Jennifer Carsen, JD, and Bridget Miller

Today’s world is hyperconnected, and smart organizations know how to leverage the power of social media in creative ways to turbocharge their recruiting efforts without falling prey to unnecessary distractions.

Twitter: #We’reHiring!

Even if your organization has an active Twitter presence, you may not be using the service as the valuable recruiting resource it can be.

Many jobseekers subscribe to the Twitter feeds of the companies they are interested in working for. Still more jobseekers subscribe to feeds that deliver links to job posts all day long. Thousands of jobseekers know that Twitter can be a useful place to look—employers just need to use their 140 characters in a way that actually gets seen and gets prospective employees interested in clicking through to learn more.

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Business consultant Bridget Miller offers the following Twitter recruiting tips to get you started:

  • When you post a link to a job opening on Twitter, ask employees to retweet it, which significantly increases the number of people who will see the post.
  • Continually post interesting, insightful, and relevant information to keep people engaged. Some employers opt to share industry info. Others post information that provides a peek into the culture of the company, such as photos from company events. This way, you obtain more followers who will see your job posts later.
  • If there are relevant hashtags for your industry or for an industry event, use those to gain exposure when appropriate. (A hashtag is the use of the “#” symbol at the front of a word or phrase. This allows the word or phrase to be easily searched for and tracked, thus increasing visibility of a post when used properly.)
  • Research the common hashtags used for jobs in your industry or geographic location. If jobseekers are already using them as a search term, this is another way to gain exposure.
  • Another hashtag tactic is to include “#job” in the post. Also, put a hashtag in front of other terms that candidates will use to search, such as the position title (e.g., #editor), city name (e.g., #Boston), or job function (e.g., #accounting).
  • If your organization is large enough, consider creating a separate Twitter feed solely for job postings. This will allow candidates to follow and monitor that feed.
  • Be sure to have dedicated resources to follow up on all responses received via Twitter. In today’s social media environment, it is assumed that responses will be very quick. Potential applicants may post questions to you using Twitter, so there should be someone responsible for monitoring these communications. It’s also important that the company be seen as Twitter-savvy if you’re going to use the platform effectively.
  • Consider enlisting the help of some of the established job networks on Twitter. For example, TweetMyJobs has a reputation for being a source of posts to thousands of jobseekers. By having your job listings distributed on the TweetMyJobs network, you will significantly increase your exposure.
  • Rather than just putting job posts out there, also consider using Twitter to search for candidates based on terms that are relevant to the job. In this way, your recruiting team can reach out to potential candidates and engage with them directly.

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Facebook: Not Just for ‘Friends’ Anymore

While Facebook is still viewed as more of a social online resource than a business-oriented one, there are good reasons to consider taking your recruiting efforts there—the biggest of which is sheer volume.

According to Facebook’s own stats, as of September 30, 2014, the service has a staggering 1.35 billion monthly active users. That’s a lot of potential job applicants! Additionally, as iCIMS’ Hire Expectations Institute aptly notes, “Social media has increasingly blurred the line between personal pursuits and work life … [Millennials have] an average of 16 co-worker friends on Facebook.”

Because birds of a feather flock together, these coworkers/Facebook friends will probably be linked to a lot of other people who could be a great fit for your organization.

Facebook allows you to create pay-per-click ads that are highly targeted by geography, interests, and a host of other factors that enable you to get your job postings in front of precisely the people you’re most interested in, at a fraction of the cost of traditional broad-based advertising.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, recruiting on LinkedIn, plus an introduction to HRsoft’s in-depth guide, Total Rewards Communication Handbook: A Guide for Improving Employee Engagement & Retention.