Despite being one of the easiest to use and most engaging social media tools, many companies seem focused on gaining the least amount of value from Twitter. So, what can you do to better utilize this amazing tool for social recruiting?

Create Goodwill

Remember that hard to value intangible asset on your balance sheet that is not directly attributable to assets or liabilities, but can increase the purchase price of your company in acquisition….goodwill. In social media generically and on Twitter specifically, your company can create lots of goodwill by focusing on giving more than you receive. By making it a point to help others, your company will find that the community is more willing to help when you need assistance. This practice is what will help your company expand its circle of influence from your subset of followers to the broader social web.

Don’t Treat Twitter As A Mini Job Board

The unique nature of the Twitter platform allows companies to collect a multitude of followers without having to reciprocate. This technique can effectively create a one way distribution channel for your company. Due to the increasing cost of job board postings over the years, some employers are taking the opportunity to leverage Twitter as their own mini job board. Consistently blasting out untargeted, generic job openings to your followers on Twitter doesn’t make a lot of sense. If openings are already posted on your career site, then all Twitter does is provide an additional lower fidelity channel. The only difference is, now the prospective candidate has to click on the link to go to your career site to learn more or apply. However, if your company has already had trouble driving traffic to your website, it will be even harder to breakthrough the clutter on Twitter. In addition, one of the main benefits of job boards is that the user base is typically actively seeking employment. While Twitter can be useful for advertising job openings (especially aggreggating groups of similar openings across companies), the current functionality is not yet sufficiently optimized for individual employers to achieve scalable success.

Engage With the Community

From links in email signature lines to icons on your website, your company has utilized a variety of strategies to gain awareness from your target audience of your Twitter presence. Now, it is time to leverage these relationships for the mutual benefit of the community. Did you find an interesting article about your industry? Share it with your followers and ask them about the strategic implications. Is your company planning a new product release? See if any of your followers would be interesting in trialing the product and giving the development team feedback. Does one of your followers have a question about a topic that your company has expertise? Help connect that follower to your company subject matter expert. Finally, is your company looking to fill an opening? See if anyone in the community is a good fit or can provide a recommendation?

Measure Everything

The emergence of URL shorteners that incorporate analytics and internal Twitter tools makes it easy to consistently measure your tweets. From understanding which links are most useful to your followers to determining which followers are most influential, measuring everything gives your company insight into whether or not your initial strategic goals for utilizing Twitter are working. In those areas that your company is not hitting the mark, you can quickly determine what tweaks to be made. And, those areas that are resonating well with your community of followers, your company can do with greater frequency. This is much better than haphazardly using Twitter in the hopes that what you are doing will capture the interest of the community.

Despite only being able to communicate with the community 140 characters at a time, Twitter offers amazing potential. If your company is able to integrate these practices into your tweeting, the ability to successfully recruit prospective candidates will increase.

–Omowale Casselle (@mysensay)


About the Author: Omowale Casselle is the co-founder and CEO of mySenSay, a social recruiting community that connects college students and corporations.


Views: 92

Comment by J Michael, on April 12, 2010 at 4:51pm
Thanks for the insights. I see one issue though - with twitter becoming a channel for job search, shouldn't we use it?
Comment by Omowale Casselle on April 12, 2010 at 11:03pm
I'm not saying don't use Twitter to advertise openings. In fact, I see the aggregation model that has worked so well for and also gaining share on Twitter. However, for the individual employer, I don't think that Twiiter provides an easy way to drive traffic at the scale needed to continously fill multiple openings. Especially, if the employer only uses Twitter to syndicate openings already posted on their career site.
Comment by J Michael, on April 13, 2010 at 1:27pm
Got it. Thx!
Comment by Ryan Leary on April 13, 2010 at 1:30pm
Remember, social media sites like LinkedIn, FB and Twitter among the many others need to be used appropriately. Simply saying that you recruit on these sites is wrong. In the end, recruiters are in the information gathering business.

Thus here is my easy 4 step approach:

1. Forget branding (though I don't have a better name for it) and just connect. people will see you for what you are.
2. Make the connection and just as quickly as you made it online, take it offline. Otherwise, i will and steal you candidate.
3. Have a genuine conversation and fill your role if he/she is the right person.
4. Collect your money and pass go.

Quote me here:

I make connections on social sites, I take the conversation offline, I assess and evaluate then place. Otherwise I can’t pay my bills.
Comment by Jerry Albright on April 13, 2010 at 1:53pm
Twitter is one of the most over-hyped/lowest return tools on the web today.

Goodwill? Sure. I get it. I'm all about it. There comes a time however where one needs to take a look at whatever their next "business" action will be and ask one simple question: Is this the most valuable action to take at this moment?

I can count on one hand the number of times I've thought "Hey! Better get on Twitter and make that happen!"

Disclaimer: I enjoy Twitter. I'm fascinated by it. Unfortunately it is one of the least productive "recruiting" (if you can even call it that) platforms around.
Comment by Omowale Casselle on April 13, 2010 at 3:28pm

Thanks for your comment. I agree the first question should always be strategic. I share your fascination with the potential of the platform. While Twitter may not be appropriate for every recruiting situation, I think it does enable productive recruiting.

As a recent example highlights, Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures posted the following tweet on his Twitter account @ 10:00am yesterday (4/12/10)

"if you are interested in spending the next two years working at Union Square Ventures, read this post"

Taking a look at the stats today (4/13/10 @ 3:00pm), his tweet alone has resulted in:

1,910 clicks (total for the link 3,566 clicks) and 100 Twitter users have tweeted about it to their followers. This has all happened in one day. Given the social nature of Twitter, most users aren't going to tweet to their followers something that they don't think will add value. So, the users this tweet was shared with were likely very targeted. I've even received emails from my business school classmates about this opening.

However, the true measure of the productivity of the platform is if this tweet results in USV making an awesome hire who delivers great results. Apparently, this strategy worked for them before.

However, one area that is often not considered is being active on social media sites like Twitter also enables candidates to find employers. This mutual discovery is something I see as being very beneficial moving forward.

To be fair, Fred is definitely a power Twitter user with nearly 60,000 followers. But, I think the reason why the openings he is recruiting for have spread through the web is because he has followed a lot of the advice highlighted above.


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