You’d be hard pressed to find a recruiter without LinkedIn open in a browser window these days, but Twitter can be a very useful addition to your recruitment arsenal.
Lots of recruiters are on Twitter to post up opportunities, but many either don’t use it often or have simply given up on it altogether. They’re missing a trick though, and all you need to make the most out of the channel is to up your Twitter-Fu.
So what is such a turn off for recruiters about Twitter?
Well, building a follower base can be tough due to the amount of time needed to engage and converse with candidates and businesses, whilst posting your own decent content at the same time.
It can also be quite hard to find the right people on Twitter. Which candidates are worth your time? Which companies are recruiting and are they appropriate targets for you? How do you find any of them?
Lastly, as is often the folly of many a recruiter, if they don’t see results straight away, they go straight back to their original methods and forget all about it.
If you haven’t already got an account, set one up. Make sure you put some information in your bio about what area you specialise in (if any), and perhaps even in your display name and handle too.
Be careful though, you don’t want to appear overly robotic and business-like, as having an approachable personality on Twitter will play in your favour.
Next up, start following some people. Twitter will help you find people you already know by scanning your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL address books.
A great way to kick start your follower base is to send out an email announcing you’ve joined Twitter to your colleagues, clients, candidates and anyone you deem to have a close enough professional relationship with.
If the business you work for has a corporate account, make sure you form a relationship with whoever runs it and get your posts re-tweeted.
These are the basics, and as long as you make sure you’re posting at least once or twice a day and engaging with industry influencers and anyone who already follows you, your follower base should grow organically.
So how do you find those all-important clients and candidates?
Once you’ve followed a decent amount of accounts, sort them in to “lists” depending on which category they fall into, then in future you can quickly see only the updates from those accounts without having to sift through everything else.
Twitter’s search function is a very powerful and underrated tool, and when used correctly it can provide you with great new biz opportunities and great candidates.
Your first stop should be to decide on a Twitter client that supports bespoke search streams. This means that you can set up a dashboard tailored searches that bring the people you want to be talking to straight to your front door.
You can also now set up streams for any lists you have set up.
Web apps like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck come highly recommended, but there are loads of other providers out there if you’re the picky type.
On the hunt for new clients? Set up search streams with phrases like “we are hiring UK” or “looking for project manager”. Get clever with it and stuff in specific locations or areas, for example “Bristol vacancy head chef”.
Have a play around and see what sort of results you get. It’s likely that there will be agencies in there as well, but you’ll get good at scanning and refining searches, plus it might lead you onto a role going that you didn’t already know about.
The same goes for candidates. Try things like “want chef job Bristol”. It’s words and phrases like “looking for”, “want” and “searching for” that will help separate candidates from recruiters and job ads.
Get creative with hashtag searches. It can be difficult to bring up relevant posts through them, but they’re worth a flick through because you can find some gems of leads. Try things along the lines of “#jobhunt”.
Twitter is never going to take over all the usual channels of client and candidate sourcing, but spending 10 or 20 minutes a day browsing search streams and engaging with people could give you the edge and bag you that niche client or candidate.
About the Author:
Paul Drury | Marketing Executive | Intapeople.com
Paul is the staff writer and marketing exec at IT recruitment agency, Intapeople. He’s been writing for the web for 3 years on a variety of subjects, but currently specialises in recruitment and job hunting. Paul is passionate about digital marketing, social media, and sandwiches.
Twitter Handle: @intapeople