3 Ways Independent Recruiters Can Use Twitter

By Veronica Blatt

twitter_newbird_boxed_whiteonblueLately, it seems people are all atwitter over Twitter. Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, asks users to answer the question, “What’s happening” in 140 characters or less. A lot of recruiters seem to wonder if Twitter is an actual recruiting resource or simply another new fad destined for the “time waste” trash heap. I believe Twitter CAN be a valuable tool for independent recruiters, and I’m going to share some ideas to get you started. First, though, some Twitter basics:

Your Twitter Profile. Take time to create a complete profile. Use keywords in your bio to describe what you do. Make certain you include your website. If you have a blog or another website, you can link to that in your profile by entering http:// and then the rest of the URL. Twitter will convert it to a live hyperlink for you. Add a picture of yourself. Twitter users want to interact with a “real” person, not an avatar.

Twitter Commands. Familiarize yourself with the basic Twitter commands and how to use them. At the very least, you need to know the following:

  • # (called a hashtag in Twitter-speak) – use this to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet, like this: #npaworldwide for #recruiters who love to make #splits
  • RT (Retweet) – use this to “repost” someone else’s Tweet, like this: RT [username]
  • @[username] – use this to show that your Tweet is a reply to another user, like this: @npaworldwide Thanks for sharing!
  • D [username] + message – use this to send a direct (private) message to another user, like this: d vscrimshaw What time are you heading to #grwineshow?

URL Shortening. Because you’re limited to just 140 characters (including spaces), you can’t afford to Tweet long URLs. You’ll need to use a URL shortening service such as http://bit.ly or http://tinyurl.com to reduce your URL to just a few characters.

Now that I’ve covered some of the basics, here are 3 ways to make Twitter a valuable recruiting resource:

1. Post new job openings. Twitter’s platform is perfect for connecting with people on mobile devices (the 140-character limitation was designed for compatibility with mobile SMS/text messaging). Get to the point, add a couple of hashtags, and voila! Your job is Tweeted instantly.

2. Share news. The thing I love most about Twitter is rapid news sharing. By strategically following people who are likely to have information that is relevant to NPA, I learn about breaking news and other developments faster and more regularly than by other methods. In turn, I can share that news with people and organizations that follow #npaworldwide. Can you share news about the job market with your followers? Hot new careers? New developments from your clients? How can you position yourself as a thought leader in your recruiting niche?

3. Listen, Learn, Retweet. Twitter is a great recruiting resource for developing intelligence that will benefit your independent recruiting firm. Use http://search.twitter.com to search for Tweets on a specific keyword or topic, like #jobs, #careers, or other relevant terms. Not sure what hashtags to use? Check out www.hashtags.org for a comprehensive list. Follow trending topics that are relevant to your clients and candidates, and share that information with your followers. Create opportunities to engage and interact with candidates and clients.

There are myriad resources for learning more how to use Twitter in your recruitment agency. Here are a few of my favorites:

You can also try a Google search for “twitter job postings,” “twitter for recruiters,” or “twitter hashtag directory” to learn even more. What’s your favorite Twitter tip?

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