5 ways to get talent using Twitter
Recent research into social recruiting by Adecco Group found increasing numbers of job seekers using social networking sites as part of their search.
Twitter has over 270 million active users sending in excess of 500 million tweets every day, 78% of them from mobile, it seems natural that this real time conversation platform should be somewhere that job seekers feel they can accelerate, or refine, their search. Our own research, shows that 34% engage with companies through social media, with 24% likely to form a negative opinion of a company with no social profile.
The Adecco report showed the top uses of social media during job hunting to be...
- Searching for vacancies
- Professional networking
- Researching potential employers
- CV distribution
- Checking for employer reputations
…all of which offer opportunities for businesses to use Twitter to reach out and engage with prospective talent. How can they best achieve this? The key to success on Twitter is not just to be engaging and conversational, but to share, inform and add value. Recruiters always need to remember that it's not about them, but the audience - in this case job seekers with the skills and capabilities that they need.
Here are our top 5 ways to get Twitter talent:
Be Part of the Conversation
Social media rewards those who establish trust and authenticity, and can be harsh on anyone looking to sell and influence without conversing. If you want to engage with good people you need to attract their attention and give them a reason to talk to you. If you are a brand, or customer facing business, you will already have relationships with consumers, several of whom may be fans. You can build on this by sharing insights, thoughts and narrative, and by letting them know what's going on within the business.
You clearly need to identify how to reach candidates and the best way is to listen to conversations and find out what they are talking about. Search for topics that would interest the type of person you are looking to reach, and monitor conversations around them. Check to see what popular hashtags they may be using (your employees would probably be able to help with this) and follow the updates using them.
You won't reach people by only listening though, so be prepared to join in conversations relevant to your industry, or sector for which you are recruiting, and also converse with existing connections.
Share Your Jobs
The main activity that job seekers use social media for is to search for vacancies, so make sure that you have some for them to find! It's important to mix your sharing between insights, images, links and vacancies, as a stream of job links in successive tweets is likely to discourage people from following you or worse, encourage them to unfollow you. You need to make your jobs look varied and interesting, as there is a strong chance that your followers may share jobs that are not right for them but may be of interest to people who follow them, so bring them to life with descriptions.
One way to achieve this differentiation is to use Twitter Cards. A fairly recent innovation from the developers at Twitter, this enables you to embed a photo, video, audio or other media asset into your job tweet, helping to personalise it and make it stand out. Tweets like this tend to get shared more, thereby increasing your reach, and with careful use of targeted hashtags can get the attention of the people you are most trying to find.
Showcase Your Employer Brand
Company culture is increasingly a major factor for candidates deciding which business to join, and Twitter offers many opportunities to showcase what a great place you are to work. Give connections, followers and potential followers an insight into your culture, visions and values by sharing photos, blogs, presentations, whitepapers and awards. Don't be shy, its also good to make sure you let potential candidates know that everyone likes cake on someone's birthday, or that your new fresh coffee machine is a big hit! The immediacy and transparency of a platform like Twitter means that fun elements are often widely shared, whilst thought leadership and credibility can also be established through the tweeting and retweeting of links to blogs or articles.
Remember that not everyone wants to talk to someone who only talks about themselves! Make sure that you intersperse your updates with links to industry news and wider business stories on which you can comment. This will also help to illustrate thinking on issues facing your sector.
Let Employees Get Involved
Don't rely solely on a corporate account to create the necessary buzz online; you also need to leverage the reach, networks and connections of everyone who works for you too. Employees are crucial to increasing Twitter reach for two reasons - firstly, they are best placed to share your story and really show what the work experience and culture is like, and secondly their connections are likely to be a rich source of referrals for relevant candidates. If they are happy at work then their friends and network will know, and will be more likely to share your job openings. In addition, your current workforce are also most likely to be having the online conversations that you want to leverage, with the people that you want to attract, so their advocacy can be crucial.
An online network, or community, takes time to build, whilst trust and influence have to be earned over time too. Social media, and Twitter in particular, won't provide a quick fix for recruiters under pressure. The followers and connections you build need to be nurtured and developed, conversations evolved over time, and your online brand established through repeated interactions, not a sudden flurry of shares for the latest kitten snap.
Job seekers who are using Twitter to identify aspirational companies want to know that the stories you tell are genuine and trustworthy, that the people working for you are engaged and feel valued, and that you can offer an opportunity for development…which is why they are more likely to engage with a business whose visions and values, personality and culture, come through in their online conversations and content.