Using Twitter as a Recruiting Tool

By EJ Fechenda
01:29 PM

This week I attended a webinar titled “Recruiting Social: Using Twitter Today”, hosted by Recruiting Trends. This webinar featured several HR and social media experts who revealed what tips worked for them when using Twitter as a channel for recruiting.

One of the biggest takeaways, and one I try to apply to the JobMine Twitter feed, is to inject personality into your tweets. Don’t be a running commercial, keep your tweets personable. This can be done in 140 characters. If you’re a recruiter for your organization and using Twitter for recruitment purposes, you’ll still need to be conscious of your organization’s culture and brand. By bending personal and professional, you can find a balance that works.

The importance of using hash tags, not only as a way of tagging your tweet, but to search for candidates, was emphasized several times. At large events, like SXSW or HIMSS12, by using the Twitter search feature you can look up all tweets using the event’s designated hash tags. Recruiters can identify who is in attendance and talking about the specific topics (ie: informatics, Meaningful Use etc…) as a means of sourcing. The same method can be applied if looking for thought leaders on particular topics outside of an event.

The beauty of Twitter, well social media in general, is that it’s very passive. On Twitter you can follow someone and get a feel for their personality to determine if they’d be a good fit for your organization before even starting a conversation with them…and without breaking any employment laws.

How do you engage with these prospective candidates? One tip included retweeting their posts. This is paying them a compliment and puts you on their radar. Be more direct and start a conversation with them.

It’s recommended that you use a hash tag in every tweet. Not only is this a way for candidates to find you, but it is also a means of establishing you as a hiring manager or your organization as an employment source for a particular industry. When I tweet for JobMine, I use #HealthIT #Jobs or #HIT #Jobs. Sometimes I’ll specialize depending on the job posting; for example, #CMIO #Jobs, #CIO #Jobs, #Allscripts, #Epic, #EHR #Jobs.

One of the experts on the panel is in the automotive industry and she touched on the affordability of social media. When the auto industry was in the throes of the recession, she didn’t have a recruiting budget. Being creative, and out of necessity, she turned to social media with great success. 

Content is huge. In addition to being personable in your tweets to avoid sounding like a running infomercial, post relevant articles and retweet posts from other thought leaders in the industry. Getting engaged in the community will have a reciprocal effect. 

If you’re tweeting for recruitment purposes, do you have any other tips to share?

E.J. Fechenda is the Audience Data Manager for MedTech Media. Since 2008 she has helped manage Healthcare Finance JobSpot and Healthcare IT JobSpot - now merged with HIMSS JobMine. She is not a Human Resources professional, nor a healthcare expert, but over the years she's accumulated a lot of feedback and insight from both job seekers and employers alike. Each week E.J. will deliver a blog based on this information. One week will be employer focused and the next week, job seeker focused.