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Twitter for Recruitment: A Consultant’s Manual

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Leveraging Twitter is a lesser-known recruitment hack. The platform has been around long enough that it’s not “the next big thing,” but not everyone has a Twitter sourcing process in place. And that’s a missed opportunity.

We’ve got some advice for recruiters who want to research and connect with potential candidates. In this guide, we’ll cover the Twitter recruitment toolkit - everything from optimizing your account to increasing your reach with content and engagement.

Read on to learn about making the most of every tweet.

1. Is Twitter good for recruiting?

For recruiters, all social media platforms live in the shadow of LinkedIn. Despite its nontraditional status, Twitter is still a solid option for consultants who think outside the box. There’s plenty of sourcing potential with over 541 million active monthly users.

One of Twitter’s strengths is that it’s not stuffy. Consider it as a casual venue to get to know people for who they are - and then later to connect them with opportunities. And it’s a good enough choice that 70% of recruiters use Twitter to discover talent.

Twitter has tons of potential for recruiting. But if you’re on the fence, let’s cover some pros, cons, and how-tos of the platform.

2. Pros & cons of recruitment on Twitter

Like all social media channels, Twitter comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. To find whether it’s a good fit for your process, consider these pros and cons:

2.1 Pros of Twitter

  • Huge user base | The sheer size of Twitter’s user base can let you deep dive into new talent pools. And because it’s not the usual place for recruiters to go sourcing, you could find plenty of undiscovered passive candidates.

  • Direct candidate communication | Professional platforms like LinkedIn have instant messaging options, but Twitter is more personal way to connect. Take advantage of the channel’s quick-and-easy engagement and DM system to build warmer relationships.

  • Better understanding of candidates | Another Twitter advantage is the ability to "peek" into a candidate's personal life. Both by reviewing a potential candidate’s posted content and engaging with them, you can find out why they’re really looking for their next role (and if they’d fit).

  • Great for promoting content | If you have recruitment-related content like blogs or webinars, Twitter can help get the word out. Promoting relevant content on the platform will not only increase your visibility, but can also be a value-add for anyone from job seekers to MDs.

  • Reduces staffing costs | Unlike platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter doesn’t require a premium subscription to send messages. This is one way to lower your recruitment costs compared to other channels.

  • Adds to your online presence | Some other social media platforms’ algorithms discourage multiple posts per day (which reduces impressions and makes it hard for you to get seen). This isn’t the case with Twitter, where you can post and engage with no limits.

2.2 Cons of Twitter

  • Requires strategic effort | Even though it has tons of potential, Twitter recruitment isn’t a straightforward “A to B” path. It takes effort to tailor your recruitment strategy for this platform. You might also need to spend time experimenting with different tactics.

  • Not ideal for all recruitment niches | Twitter’s a great way to reach a large crowd of generalist talent. But if you’re looking to fill niche roles or jobs with specialized skills, it can be harder to find the right people here (if they’re on the platform at all).

  • Not the first choice for job seekers | Twitter is designed to be a casual, non-professional social media platform. It’s not the place where every user optimizes their profile for job seeking. You’ll likely find people venting about work or posting opinions that could hurt them in a job search. Be careful about contacting people who disqualify themselves with their public content.

  • Limited functionality | Compared to other platforms with more advanced features, Twitter doesn’t have great search options for recruiting. If you’re a fan of Boolean search to find the perfect candidate, that won’t help you here.

  • Character limits | On LinkedIn, recruiters and agencies can post longform content to establish thought leadership and gain visibility. That’s not an option with a 280 character limit. Not many people click through to a linked company blog on Twitter. If you’re tweeting to promote your brand, find ways to keep it to the point.

3. When to use Twitter for recruitment

Twitter’s a good choice if you’re looking to fill entry-level positions in general roles, or if you want to source talent for jobs in marketing and communications.

It can be a good idea to leverage it to promote your brand, as long as you keep content brief and relevant. Consider it as an option if your budget is low and you need to bring attention and candidates to your agency.

4. How to start recruiting on Twitter

Here we’ve mapped out some essential steps of a Twitter recruitment process.

4.1 Ask yourself if Twitter is the best solution

First things first, check if Twitter is the right channel. This will depend on the kind of candidates you’re looking for, the recruitment niche you operate in, and the exact role that you want to fill.

4.2 Start by creating a professional profile

If you’re going ahead with recruiting on Twitter, start with a professional profile. This lets you connect with other recruiters, job seekers, thought leaders, and leading companies in your industry.

Your Twitter profile should clearly indicate your interests as a recruiter (e.g., using hashtags related to talent acquisition or to your niche).

Make sure to include the right links in your bio. Add one for your agency’s website, or try a link to your list of open roles. Make it easy for curious candidates to browse the jobs you can offer them.

Learn more: 7 Things You Need to Get Candidates to Apply on Your Recruitment Website

4.3 Keep posting regularly

More than on other platforms, you need to put your brand as a recruiter front and center. Since most Twitter users won’t be actively searching for a job, you’ll have to meet them more than halfway by offering useful tidbits and fun content.

Develop a content calendar that’s suited for this channel. Find a posting schedule that shows off current open roles, your recruitment expertise, and your voice.

4.4 Analyze & measure success

To improve your Twitter recruiting ROI, you’ll need to collect data. You can do this by tracking tweet metrics like:

  • Overall impressions

  • Conversions

  • Clickthrough rates

These are invaluable insights that will help refine your content and your brand.

If you have a recruitment agency marketing team on your side, try working with them to put more formal social media analysis in place. For example, you might look at time to fill a role for Twitter-promoted jobs versus the ones not on social.

Learn more: How to Build a Sustainable Recruitment Pipeline

5. Tips and best practices on using Twitter for recruitment

For those looking for extra Twitter recruiting tips, consider incorporating these approaches.

5.1 Regularly engage with other users

Like with all recruitment on social media, Twitter’s about building relationships. And recruitment is a people business, so online interaction should come as an extension of your usual practices.

The name of the game is engagement. Invest a healthy amount of time in tweeting your own content, replying to others’, and resharing or liking posts from industry leaders.

Another trick: competitor research. Watch the most active and popular accounts in your niche and on general recruitment topics. Learning from their wins and failures saves you time from doing it on your own.

5.2 Create relevant content for different audiences

Twitter has plenty of tools to effectively target content. Segmentation lets you group followers by language or location - a great feature for recruiters working in different international markets.

It’s important to be active on topics that resonate with job seekers. You can try experimenting with tactics like sponsored tweets, posting at different times of the day, or joining Twitter communities.

Keeping track of relevant hashtags is also key. These can help you build relationships with influencers and know what job seekers are thinking about.

5.3 Be creative about sharing open roles

Twitter’s character limit means no posting job descriptions. To get candidates’ attention, promote open roles that can be complemented with the right visuals or videos.

For example, you can link to a job along with a graphic about key soft skills for the role. And remember to research the right hashtags so job seekers can find your tweet easily.

Twitter also can offer opportunities for recruitment marketing, e.g. hosting Q&A sessions with industry leaders. This is another way to show your expertise and a chance to tie the content back into a list of curated open roles.

5.4 Take steps to de-clutter your Twitter feed

The flood of constant information on Twitter can get in your way instead of helping you. Careful curation is crucial to make the platform work for you.

First, take simple steps like using Twitter lists and filtering out irrelevant hashtags or accounts.

For more advanced platform management, try TweetDeck. It’s a helpful tool that lets you filter at a more granular level and schedule content, among other benefits.

5.5 Build up a talent pool through Twitter

As a recruiter, you’ll want to invest a healthy amount of energy into building up a talent pool. By building up a Twitter following - using targeted hashtags, keywords, and great content - you can convert potential talent into placements.

The first step to finding potential candidates is following some of the steps listed above: most importantly, by winning them over through entertaining, relevant content.

Once you’ve added candidates to your follower count, put time into reaching out. Don’t be shy with direct messaging or commenting on their tweets about career development.

The more followers you accrue, the wider your reach will be - making it easier to attract and convert top talent.

5.6 Make the most of Twitter ads and analytics

Besides the organic methods we’ve covered, Twitter ads can also improve your talent attraction. It lets you tailor your outreach to the exact right audience, which boosts ROI.

To make a successful ad campaign, start with the basics: What are you trying to achieve? You might invest in ads to:

  • Increase website traffic

  • Get new business leads

  • Promote downloaded content

Once you’ve decided on outcomes and set a budget, commit to testing and analytics. To help hit your recruitment KPIs, you'll need a data-driven approach. Twitter Analytics helps out by showing insights on your ads and posts.

By tweaking ad campaigns and post content, then comparing it against conversions and other metrics, you’ll know exactly what works best.

5.7 Leverage more software & automation tools

To complete your social media recruitment tech stack, it’s worth considering automation tools like TweetDeck or Hootsuite.

These platforms will streamline your recruiting process by managing your accounts and content, as well as sharing more data that show how effective your social media output is.

Analytics and advanced tools help you nurture candidates who are more interested in what you have to offer. That’s what helps save on time and effort compared to manual search and outreach.

Learn more: 8 Sourcing Strategies to Find Top Talent

6. Streamline your recruitment operations with Vincere

If your Twitter strategy goes well, you’ll need to add all those new candidates to your ATS.

Vincere's recruitment platform makes it easy to build up talent pools, pinpoint the right candidates with advanced search features, and manage candidate outreach.

We also provide powerful analytics tools to help you track KPIs and metrics like conversion or redeployment rates.

With Vincere's ATS and candidate portal at your fingertips, your end-to-end recruitment operations will be simplified. Consider adding to your rec tech with a unified platform to help source, place, and redeploy candidates.

7. Final thoughts

If you want to leverage Twitter for recruitment, there are tips, tricks and strategies to make it happen.

From optimizing your own profile to prioritizing engagement, Twitter can be a surprisingly effective platform to reach more talent. With the right strategy and some effort, it can convert from an untapped resource to a fountain of new talent.

With this strategic guide in hand, feel free to dive in and start getting the best of Twitter for recruitment.