twiAre you using Twitter for recruiting? If not, maybe you need to see some statistics. 34 percent of job seekers use Twitter to find work, a 26 percent increase from 2011 according to Jobvite.

11 percent found out about a job from a Twitter share, also according to Jobvite. And Twitter reports that there are more than 500 million Twitter users.

How much does it cost to use Twitter for recruiting? Zero.

With numbers like that, what’s keeping you from adding Twitter to your recruiting strategy?

You Need Followers

It’s more effective to use Twitter for recruiting when you have followers in your target talent pool. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to build a following on Twitter. Get followers by creating an engaging Twitter recruiting account as either yourself as recruiter or as your company, like Google does with their Life at Google account. Hashtags relevant to your talent pool help bump your tweets out while you build a following.

Twitter for Sourcing

Twitter search for people discussing keywords relevant to the types of candidates, skills, and experience you’re looking for to get contacts. Search by location, industry, interest, hashtag, popularity, and time to find relevant candidates to engage and follow. Gain exposure for your company and your openings, direct applicants to your company website, and discuss your products and services to add to your talent pool with Twitter.

Don’t Forget the Hashtags

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Be sure to use fun, creative hashtags in your recruiting tweets. Everyone in Twitter expects to see hashtags and it’s a fun way to get your message out beyond your followers. Hashtags make your tweets searchable by all Twitter users. Need to hire expert Java developers in New York City? #NYCJavaNinjas or #JavaPros #NYC gets your tweet more exposure and gets you some social street cred.

Mix It Up

Don’t just tweet your jobs from your Twitter recruiting profile. Make sure you tweet about your company culture, the work environment, your industry, your benefits and perks, and all the things that make your company stand out from your competition as a great place to work. PepsiCo uses a mix of videos about events and products, job posts, contests, and interesting information about the company culture and history in its Twitter recruiting.
Be Responsive

When you’re on Twitter for recruiting, being available and responsive is important. It’s an open social platform for quick and easy interactions, unlike a job board or other one-way advertising vehicle. Encourage and ask for responses, answers, questions, and participation and then participate. When candidates have questions about the opening and the company, answer them. When they answer your questions or respond to your tweets, thank them and add something relevant. Follow those who closely match your candidate criteria for openings.

Don’t Have Time for Tweets?

You can still make Twitter a part of your recruiting strategy even if you don’t have time to tweet your jobs and employment brand. Targeted networking services like Jobvite and TweetMyjobs send your job postings out through Twitter. Jobvite has Twitter channel feeds that automatically distribute jobs on Twitter with shortened, trackable URLs and hashtags. TweetMyJobs has a free and an enterprise option. Both optimize your job post tweets that link back to you and your company’s career page.

Twitter is a valuable social media platform for recruiting. It’s free, easy, and fun, and allows you to quickly engage candidates in real time, build and define your employment brand, and participate in social media with a minimum investment of time and effort. Whether you use it to get started in social recruiting or make it part of a comprehensive recruiting strategy, you need to use Twitter for recruiting.

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