Social recruiting. It sounds good, it’s ‘buzzy’ – but what does it really mean? More importantly, how can someone new to social media recruiting get started? This is a broad topic; as social recruiting is complex thing with many layers. Over time with, we’ll dissect the layers through a variety of posts covering topics like social referrals, Facebook company pages, employment branding, and sourcing – but today we’re going to focus on using Twitter as a recruiting tool. Specifically, we’ll be sharing tips on how to create, launch, and grow a corporate recruiting Twitter account.
These are some steps I recommend you take (or at least consider) when launching a social recruiting effort on Twitter. This isn’t designed to be an exact blueprint as every company and culture is different so you should personalize these suggestions for your organization. To that point, understand from the outset that you should tweak all advice that you get on the topic of social recruiting. Every company is different; internal politics, power centers, appetite for risk, target hires, etc. – all of these characteristics impact how you should shape your social recruiting strategy. Scour your networks, resources, contacts, conferences, the Googles and whatever else you can for ideas then figure out how you can tweak and mold them to work for your organization.
Here are some suggestions on how to build your super awesome corporate recruiting Twitter account.
- Have a purpose: Why are you creating this account? Hopefully the answer includes none of the following: ‘my boss told me to,’ ‘I heard it’s big these days,’ ‘because it’s time to evolve from Friendster.’ Whether you’re building this account to reach active or passive job seekers, build your employment brand, evangelize your organization, or build community – it’s crucial to think through what you want this platform to help you achieve.
- Have a general understanding of Twitter works: if you’ve never used Twitter, you might want to setup a personal account. Follow your friends, some celebrities, and maybe some companies – particularly those with brands and recruiting accounts. Observe for awhile to get a sense of how it works and how people interact. There are are lots of good examples of corporate accounts out there, here are a few: @NPRjobs, @JoinTheFlock, @WBCareers, @PepsiCoJobs, @MicrosoftJobs, @ViacomCareers.
- Twitter is not an extension of your job board: The examples above are successful accounts that do a good job building communities with engaged members. There are many others that don’t. Why? Because they treat their Twitter accounts as an extension of their job boards. That’s purely a broadcast, one-way channel. Is it better than not being on Twitter at all? Probably, but it won’t build a loyal group of followers – and it certainly won’t build community.
- Sourcing candidates and brand advocates: Twitter is a tremendous platform for recruiters and organizations to identify, interact and engage with prospects before they even apply to your jobs. You can easily find function or skill-specific hashtags on Google. Include some of these hashtags when posting jobs (note: tread very lightly here unless it’s a job-specific hashtag, lest you be banished as a spammer). Twitter is also an effective sourcing platform. Are you recruiting Drupal developers? Keep an eye on the hashtags: #Drupal, #DrupalCon, #Drupal7, #Drupal8, etc to see what these communities are talking about and identify influential developers. Recruiting Marketing Managers? Check out #marketing, #digitalmarketing, #marketingresearch, #mktg, etc and do the same. There are many tools out there to help you identify influencers within various hashtag communities. Here are a few: SocialBro, WeFollow, Hashtags.org, What The Trend, HashTweeps.
- Engage your followers: Rule #1 of social media – be generous. This applies to organizations as well as individuals. You want to be generous and provide value to your followers. There are lots of ways to do this. Share ‘behind the scenes’ photos or video to help prospects get a sense of what it’s like to work for your company. Share articles and resources about your industry. Join Twitter chats and share your insights and expertise. Interact with your followers. Try to respond to every @mention and question. Engagement and interaction is vital if you want to build community.
- Engage your employees: To really harness the power of social recruiting on Twitter, you need great content and you need volume. Unless you work for one of the few organizations that have dedicated teams working solely on social media recruiting campaigns, chances are you’ll have more success if you can get your employees involved. Great talent within specific roles general knows similar talent. Consider developing internal programs where your employees can share jobs on their social networks to help them get more visibility, particularly in the communities where you recruit. Employee involvement in employment branding is also key. While you may be a supremely clever and compelling Twitter, you’re still an HR guy/gal. Prospects want to hear from your employees. That Product Manager you’ve been wooing wants to see tweets/posts/etc from your Product team that wil help them get a feel for the work, team atmosphere, culture, etc. When you effectively engage your employees in social recruiting, you magnify your reach tremendously.
- Metrics matter: Many say social media is difficult because you can’t measure ROI. Those people are wrong. There are many tools out there that measure the reach, re-tweets, impressions, etc of your tweeting activity. You can also measure applications and hires coming from Twitter through your ATS. Use these tools to adjust your campaigns regularly. You will be tempted to obsess over your followers. Don’t let that be your primary indicator as to whether your account is successful. If you focus on providing valuable content and engaging your community, followers will come. Focus on this and you’ll have something better than followers – you’ll have brand advocates.
- Time commitment: Isn’t this social media thing going to eat up all my time? If you let it, yes. If you’re smart and disciplined, no. There are lots of great tools like Buffer that can schedule your tweets and automate some of your postings. You can also use tools like Crowdbooster that tell you what times of day your tweets will reach the most followers. That being said, while these tools help, you should be prepared to dedicate a certain portion of your week, including some time every day, to monitor and manage your account. Many large organizations split that duty between several members of the recruiting or HR team. Some manage it with one person. It does take time to effectively manage a corporate recruiting Twitter account so plan accordingly.
Using some of the suggestions above will help you launch, develop and manage a social recruiting account on Twitter. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. What suggestions do you have for organizations interested in building a social recruiting account on Twitter?